'Blonde' is part of a series of works entitled 'For Home and Country' that examine bicultural interactions in a globalised world. Focusing on cultural differences and the trade of cultural goods between China and the UK, Lucy Hutchinson examines and articulates a "class system" derived from her familial relationships, identifying three distinct groups; working-class, middle-class and Chinese-class.
'Blonde' is one of three self-portraits in the series, each of which are representative of one of the groups in Hutchinson’s self-defined class system. The backdrop is a Chinoiserie wallpaper, which Hutchinson has developed from eighteenth-century designs and depicts the everyday life of each "class" of the artist’s extended family. The design is also printed on the "face-kini" she wears. These sun protection masks are commonly worn in China on the beach in order to shield the wearer’s face from exposure to the sun and prevent tanning which would indicate a lower class. The wig and face-kini remove Hutchinson’s identity through the use of mass produced items which instantly attach a brand and label to the wearer, associating her with a particular social and cultural group. Conversely, the mask can be read as providing protection as the design links to a particular group or "tribe". This makes the wearer a part of a wider community, giving them a sense of belonging in an increasingly globalised world.
- Artwork Details: 100 x 90cm
- Edition: 2 of 3
- Material description: Digital photograph
- Credit line: © the artist.
- Theme: Portrait
- Medium: Photograph
- Accession number: ACC37/2013