There’s a great conversation going on at Carmen Van Kerckhove’s Racialicious blog concerning a series of photographs by artist O. Zhang.
Titled “Daddy and I,” this photo series (including the image above) poses white American males with their adopted Chinese daughters. (Yep... that’s a father-daughter picture.)
O. Zhang is a young Chinese woman who was educated in Beijing and London. She describes the artistic intent behind “Daddy and I” thusly:
“Through the relationship of the emerging feminine power of the adolescent girl to the mature father, each image explores the relation of the two often divided cultures: East and West.”
Zhang goes on to say: “I am curious about how the West sees the rapid development of contemporary China. The growing girls symbolize the future potential of China. ... [A]s the girls grow up, will they remain innocent adoptees under the tutelage of their western patriarchs?”
But as Carmen Van Kerckhove (of white and Asian ancestry) says, “there’s something very disturbing and exploitative about these pictures.”
Most of her commenters agree. “If these same photos were taken of little White girls with men of color I don’t think they would even be published. No matter what the relationship was,” writes one.
Another asks: “Was Woody Allen the influence of O. Zheng?” (Ohhh, snap!)