In conjunction with the Chinese New Year, Mutuo Centro de Arte presents ‘’Have You Eaten Yet?’, a solo exhibition by artist Sophie Teh. The exhibition of new paintings and installations runs from 17 Feb to 12 Mar 2022.
Sophie Teh invites visitors to experience a world of implied meanings and suggestion through their interactions with food, specifically foods that were significant to the artist growing up in a Chinese Malaysian family in the 1980s. Food is a cornerstone to Chinese culture. “Have you eaten yet?” was the colloquial greeting in the community she grew up in instead of ‘How are you?’
As a child, the combination of sausage, eggs and rice were her family’s fast food. In this solo show, she manipulates these foods to address issues of ambition, perceived desirability/undesirability and cultural identity of the Chinese diaspora. These are themes that she has been concerned about since her childhood. The issues in her work are further heightened through more recent experience as in immigrant to Europe in the last 20 years.
Teh’s art sets out to test our learned social and cultural queues with familiar items represented in unfamiliar ways. The show presents artworks related to the perception of Asian peoples, especially young women of East Asian heritage, who are viewed as subservient and hypersexualised. This is contrasted with the artist’s own perception of East Asian women as independent individuals, which many of her work addresses. Instead of preparing and serving up food in her still lives, Teh plays with it in outlandish manners to break with stereotypes.
The artist’s work deals with abstract and figurative themes. Her work references her cultural background and explores how cultural conditioning and personal memories influence how we perceive and react to visual stimuli. As part of Teh’s artistic investigation, she paints from personal experiences. Drawing from the ‘otherness’ of her Malaysian Chinese roots, Teh’s work mines this cultural tension to generate work that challenges racial and cultural stereotypes.
Teh was born in Ipoh, Malaysia and currently lives and works in Barcelona, Spain.
Location: MUTUO Centro de Arte
Address: Carrer de Méndez Núñez, 7, 08003 Barcelona
Dates: 17 February – 12 March 2022
Opening hours: Tue-Sat, 5-9pm