• Zoe Watts, Installation view of senior art exhibition, 2019
  • Zoe Watts, Installation view of senior art exhibition, 2019
  • Zoe Watts, Installation view of senior art exhibition, 2019
  • Zoe Watts, Installation view of senior art exhibition, 2019
  • Zoe Watts, Installation view of senior art exhibition, 2019
  • Zoe Watts, Installation view of senior art exhibition, 2019

My work examines identity, intersectionality, and race in America from the perspective of an adoptee, through the combined use of Western and traditional Chinese aesthetic elements. In an effort to become more aware of how and where I “fit in,” I’ve created an accumulation of perspectives in order to visualize how an individual can be a part of a culture by definition, but feel significantly separated from it, and look at experiences and interactions in my life and how they make me question both “sides” of my identity: the Chinese side, one I feel inherently connected to because of the ways in which physical appearance has affected the way people perceive me, and the immersion in American culture, which has assigned to me the way in which I view the world. Adoptee stories and emotions are too often told and interpreted by those who are not adopted, and in dispelling those false narratives, I want to highlight how intersecting identities, language, and the influence of cultures other than your own can change the way a person sees them self and others around them. In my work, I use metal, wood, and mixed media parts to create structures that contain snapshots and insight from different points in my life. The content is based on my experiences in America and China, while the structures are based on architecture and sculpture from my birthplace. The building of my identity shows through in the literal seams of the structures, just as the encounters in my life clearly define how my sense of self has developed over time.