BIBI CHEW (b.1969, Malaysia)
Moved by ideas of cultural identity, Bibi Chew takes on challenging issues of race, environment and gender, creating commentary through familiar objects. She has used and transformed leaf-wrapped bundles, eggs, glass bottles, sand, wooden boards, butterfly catchers and coffee strainers into metaphors for marginalisation, destruction and containment. She has carved, stitched and layered pieces into a united form.
Her work speaks of a delicately controlled self with underlying hidden meanings.
Living in Malaysia, a nation where even oneís identification card details race - the issues of cultural difference and institutionalised ethnicity are unavoidable. Bibi deals with these issues pragmatically, combining an acknowledgement of reality and an ability to see beyond containment.
Subtle, compelling and beautifully finished objects characterise the work of Bibi Chew. Refusing to employ the dramatics of direct opposition, Bibiís art reflects on ambivalence in the politics of difference.