Portrait of the Artist as a Victim of Colonial Mentality by Albert Chong (1979/2010, 2010)

Albert Chong (b. 1958)
Portrait of the Artist as a Victim of Colonial Mentality, 1979/2010, 2010
Photo transfer on marble tiles
48 x 48 in.
Courtesy of the artist

I don’t think you can say anything meaningful with abstraction, period. There’s no way of doing the narrative; it needs representation to communicate — Albert Chong

Albert Chong’s grandfathers were Chinese and his grandmothers were Black Jamaican, and he was raised in Jamaica until he moved to New York at age nineteen. His 1979 photo, Portrait of the Artist as a Victim of Colonial Mentality, was staged with symbols of colonial oppression, and re-imagined in 2010 transferred onto marble tiles, perhaps symbolizing a solidity of presence often denied to the Black Chinese of Chong’s parents’ generation in Jamaica.

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