Your Body Is but a Vessel
These prints was inspired by the death of a 26-year-old pregnant Chinese woman, surnamed Ma, who had no access to epidural anesthesia and was denied a c-section to relieve her unbearable pain during childbirth. On August 31, 2017, she jumped from her hospital labor room, killing herself and her baby. Deprived of the control over her own body, she reclaimed it with her final leap.
Since China relaxed the one-child policy and is now actively encouraging families to have two children, there was a speculation that Ma’s family was concerned about her ability to carry a second child if she were given the C-section. Chinese culture's obsession with having both a daughter and (especially) a son is evident in the Chinese language: the word for "good" (好) is made up of a "girl/daughter" (女) and a "son" (子).
On a more personal note, growing up, I saw and heard about the institutional inadequacy that places females at a significant disadvantage in marriage and child rearing. When I made this series, I saw the ability to carry children as a liability for those with a womb, and believed that actual gender equality couldn’t be achieved until all genders could bear children.