This joint exhibition is a culmination of students at Zhaoqing University (Zhaoqing, China) and Maine College of Art (Portland, Maine, U.S.A.) working simultaneously to explore self-portraiture.

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Zhaoqing University

Li Shu

Jiang Xian Ming [flash]

Liang Ying Ying

Luo Ying

Han Jin

Lee Wen Wen

Xian Jin Yun

Qiu Yi Hui [flash]

Chen Wu Gai

Xie Rong Li

Chen Yan Mei

Lin Xue Fen

He Qian Yi

Luo Song

Wu Lin Wen

Mao Zheng Hua

Lian Gai Min

Huang Tu You

Xie Chong Yuan

Zhong Wei Hong

Chen Qiu Ping

Feng Hai Min

Huang Wen Qing

Long Yao Jian

Cheng Hai Fang

Luo Zhi Xiao

Zhan Qing Xiang

Ruan Da Yuan

Wu Qi Wen

Han Pei Fu

Chen Zhi Qiang

You Wei Kang

Lu Mei Jiao

Gong Yi Dong

Lai Xian Hua

Yue Bing

Zhou Chen Chao

Jiang Dong Ni

Maine College of Art

Jennifer Baylog [1]

Jennifer Baylog [2]

Jennifer Baylog [3]

Ashley Curry [1]

Ashley Curry [2]

Amanda Blanchette [1]

Amanda Blanchette [2]

Ben Otunba

Jodie Keenan

Joe Miles

Ryan Dube

Kris Johnsen

Kara Closson

Kara Gates

This project is a collaboration between students in China and America under the instruction of Tom R. Chambers at Zhaoqing University (Zhaoqing, Guangdong Province, China) and George LaRou at the Maine College of Art (Portland, Maine, U.S.A.).

The self-portrait gives the artist the greatest freedom from external constraints. Because the artist is his or her own cheapest and most available model, the self-portrait is the finest opportunity to make the most flattering statement or the most penetrating revelation of character of which he or she is capable [The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright 2005, Columbia University Press]. The artist tries not only to express his inner drive through aesthetic presentation, but also to examine that drive through portrayal of the most intimate subject, the self.


"Even though the assignment parameters have created an inherent difference between the Chinese and American self-portraits, there are other differences ... albeit, subtle ... that are seen/felt between the two. Perhaps there's a bit more sophistication in this subtle form for the American self-portraits with an inclination towards the representation of the photographic image rather than its blatant manipulation and added elements as seen within the Chinese self-portraits. Again, this blatant manipulation and added elements are most likely due to the assignment parameter of requiring the students to utilize layers, masks and filters for graphics skills improvement.

These added elements ... more detailing or 'storyboarding' [embellishment] ... within the Chinese self-portraits create busier images for the eye. The American self-portraits are relatively 'plain/simple' [unembellished] in their syle. Elevated ideals or conduct [emotionalism] run through the Chinese self-portraits ... a high mindedness and passion that are prevalent within Chinese youth who have the opportunity to attend college for a better future. The American self-portraits touch on the intellect and as it relates to the assignment parameter of working in a variety of approaches which were influenced by artists they found compelling [according to the instructor, George LaRou]."

Tom R. Chambers
Visiting Lecturer, Digital/New Media Art
Fine Arts Department
Zhaoqing University
Zhaoqing, China

Classroom activities

Go to The Exploration of Self by Jeanne Ivy for more information about self-portraiture.