Chinese Dolls: The Spiritual Pain of Chino-Thai Women


The Chinese tradition is mainly rooted in patriarchal kinship, which regulates the role and status of Chinese women within familial and social aspects of their culture. The objective of this paper is to explain the process of connecting and transferring the feelings, memories, and experiences of Chinese migrant women in Chino-Thai culture by combining the form of portraiture painting with the form of a Chinese doll. The Chinese traditional motifs' symbols were investigated and classified according to the meaning of each Chinese art element which can represent male and female symbols. This creative research presents the Chinese porcelain doll with a recreated traditional motif crafted through the researcher's imagination. It narrates the meaning of the repression of women under the male-dominated culture. The researcher integrates her own Teochew (Chinese ethnicity) experiences in this culture (self-narrative), and includes Chino-Thai literature (novels, soap operas) as well as ethnographic research methodology, which includes interviews of Teochew women from three generations: first generation Chinese migrants (over age 70), Chino-Thais (age 69-50), and Thais (under age 49). They were asked to narrate their own aspects and experiences about their upbringing and growing up under Chinese patriarchal culture. The researcher uses the semiotic analysis and interpretation of the interview data to inform the creative language of a series paintings that conveys the feelings, memories, and experiences of Teochew women.

Author Information
Sirikoy Chutataweesawas, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
Kamol Phaosavasdi, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2017
Stream: Arts - Visual Arts Practices

This paper is part of the ACAH2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon