Chinatown Soup is pleased to present I AM SHAROL, an exhibition of self-portraiture, film, and body painting by Sharol Xiao that is curated by Wei-Ting Wang. Please join us for an opening reception on Thursday, September 5 from 6-9pm. This exhibition is Sharol’s first showing in New York and on view through September 15, 2019.

Sharol says that everything she does is united by an exploration of self. Making self-portraits— or “straight selfies”— is how she communicates with her inner voice. These images are captured with a vintage camera using 35mm film and a 10-second timer function.

Born and raised in her hometown of Taichung, Taiwan, Sharol moved to Taipei when she was 20 years-old in search of open-minded society. Some of her subject matter includes nudity and BDSM, which are considered inappropriate in conservative Asian culture. This tension is explored during a 25-minute video documentation of the artist’s KINBAKU (translation: Japanese rope bondage) performance filmed in Kyoto circa January 2019.

Sharol says, “I create work outside of societal influence. My inspiration is absolutely pure, born of a true desire to learn about myself. But it is also worthwhile to make a statement about humanity—that we all have the ability to connect.”

This exhibition includes Sharol’s most recent experimental works: photo prints that the artist painted with her own blood. Sharol considers blood and photography intimately involved. Together, both mediums create a uniquely accessible portrait of self.

Sharol Xiao (b. 1994) is a Taiwanese artist who makes her own portraits to express and discover herself. As a model and published author, Sharol has worked on projects related to this exhibition for the past two years in Taipei. At home, she has four cats and calls herself “a cat slave.” Previously, Sharol volunteered at an animal hospital and as a funeral director helping family members process grief. Through intimate experiences with life and death, she has developed a personal appreciation for her own existence. The artist’s photography book, “I AM SHAROL” will be released in New York for the first time at this exhibition. Sharol will donate profits to an animal welfare organization.

Wei-Ting Wang (b. 1987) is a curator, practicing artist, and cultural researcher from Taiwan. She received an M.A. in Applied Arts from National Chiao Tung University in Shinchu, Taiwan and an M.A in Digital Humanities from the University of Tokyo. She is pursuing another M.A. in Art Market Studies from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. As an assistant curator at GuJu gallery in Taipei, Wei-Ting curated multiple solo shows and assisted in Wonder Foto Day (2018). Prior to joining the art industry, she worked in tech as a product manager. She has written, drawn, and designed comic zines since 2003.

Elyse Rainbolt is a multimedia artist living near New York City. Elyse’s practice embraces multimedia installations that include slide projections, murals, tapestries, and garments. She draws inspiration from 1960's counterculture, the female form, and song lyrics. She is currently collaborating with Sharol Xiao and Wei-Ting Wang for this exhibition.

Chinatown Soup