Just outside our apartment complex in the city of Urumqi, China, on a poor little avenue where very little traffic came through, groups of men would play checkers. Smoking, drinking, and gambling, they’d pass their days and go home to disappointed wives at night. I heard stories of financial distress and broken family lives from some of the wives. It wouldn’t have been culturally appropriate for me to hear stories from the men in this Muslim corner of China, but I often wondered. I only saw that the economic and social disparities gave them an unfair place in this province. Both anger and compassion compelled me to paint this piece.
To see this piece in person, visit the Asian American Resource Center in Austin, TX where it will be on exhibit with the rest of my solo show, And the Distance Dissolves Into the Love, until June 24, 2017. Please contact me if you are interested in making this part of your permanent art collection.