40
by Charlene Shih

Confucius said : ”At 15 I set my heart on learning; at 30 I firmly took my stand; at 40 I had no delusions.“

Today is my 40’s birthday, but I am nothing but confused, and I wonder if someone can tell me how special it is to be 40?

More than10 years ago, I made an animated film called “Women”; it was from my own personal experience and struggles I faced as an Asian female growing up in Taiwan.

At the time, I probably used all my creative energy and spent 2 years making the film. After that, I thought I got more mature, and slowly started to care about other subjects. Until last year, I started to notice that I was facing another crossroads just like when I was growing up. Like many other women my age, we are facing the choice between career and family, parents are getting old and ill, the choice between freedom and obligations. And I question if we can really choose? And how much we can choose as women?

As I reveal myself as a “middle aged” woman, I also interviewed other female artists around the world, the journey is not only to find out about them, but also find some answers for myself.

I am using painting, installation, performance and even food in this personal piece, to really celebrate the number 40.

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