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"Motel Couples," 2020. Digital watercolor over oil painting. 9 x 7.5 in.
"Motel Couples," 2020. Digital watercolor over oil painting. 9 x 7.5 in.
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Xiangting Dai(Della)
Honors, Painting + Drawing, Communication

In the body of my work, I mainly focus on depicting the conflicts between the development of the LGBTQ group in China and the traditional Chinese ideology by portraying some moments of struggle for people experiencing this conflict.

Compared to other countries, China has a proportionately small demographic of LGBT individuals. There are few support structures and information sources for LGBT communities, causing a lack of acceptance and understanding of those identities.

As a person who has received two decades of education on being a heterosexual, it was a hard time for me when I was experiencing this conflict. Am I a lesbian or not? Am I the one who will be treated as “wired” by society? It took me a long time to finally manage this ideological conflict well, which became my inspiration and encouraged me to create a series of artworks.

Through my paintings, I want more people to take a closer look at queer people’s lives and understand that there is nothing wrong or weird in their life. I want to let more people who know a few to realize that there is nothing weird about being a queer person. Also, the LGBT couple can do everything that a “normal” couple can do, which should not be criticized or prejudiced.

Xiangting Dai is a student majoring in Art (Painting + Drawing) and Communication at the University of Washington. She is also an Honor student in the School of Art program. She was born in China and grew up within a traditional Chinese culture. Then she came to Seattle, United States, where she studied for five years. Xiangting has experienced a change from heterosexuality to homosexuality and realized that it is very difficult for queer people to be accepted by the traditional Chinese ideology, so she decided to paint a series of life scenes of queer couples. Most of her artworks are made of oil paint and watercolor paint. In the quarantine days, she first tried to draw digitally and started to paint digitally over oil painting.