"The Orient"
Date: 2023
Dimensions: 4' x 2' x 4'
Medium: traditional dinnerware​​​​​​​, food, collected responses
About the project: 
I'm engaging with the concept of Orientalism introduced by Edward Said. This concept refers to a way of seeing Middle Eastern, Asian, and North African origins as exotic, strange, and barbaric through the Western lens. Not only does it help to justify imperialism, colonialism, and western dominance, but it also oversimplifies history, culture, and traditions of people from those regions. Yet, since the West finds the Orient exotic, it often uses some elements for its own benefits, such as high fashion, cinematography, design, etc. I’m intrigued to challenge Western double standards by empowering the beauty of Eastern motifs and bringing humor of Western perception.
In Central Asia, we believe that every guest is sent to our homes by God and should be treated with highest respect and hospitality regardless of race, gender, or age. Therefore, my project is a research-driven installation that empowers the beauty and hospitality of Eastern origin. To contradict the richness of Eastern cultures with Western perception, each plate on the table will have a quote, phrase, or thought of what West has said about Central Asia. 
In this exploration I'm inviting my viewers into “my home” to show the respect and hospitality that I have been taught from childhood, to share my food, my place, my culture. Nevertheless, I'm making space for my viewers to challenge their own perceptions, thoughts, and biases they might have by serving them a “food for thought”. “Food” that is made of Western opinions, biases, and prejudices.
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