May 7 - June 19, 2022
Artist Reception: Saturday, May 7, 4-7 pm
Address: 1350 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice
“The tree is alive within me. I am the tree. I am my entire family.”
–– Alejandro Jodorowsky
Yiwei Gallery is pleased to feature Peruvian photographer, Christian Fuchs, who recreates images of his ancestors through self-portraiture. Christian takes on the role of his ancestors as a way to connect to his family, celebrate them, and help them live on. He has a part of everyone within his being and his family tree is still alive within him.
Christian Fuchs has been fascinated with his family since a young age living with his grandparents in Lima. He has memories of writing to his great grandmother in German who told him stories about her great grandmother. This fascination and desire to connect with his family and ancestors only grew stronger when he was introduced to five generations of family portraits. Christian recalls that, “As a child I looked at the portraits and played with them. If I didn't know the names of the characters, I invented them. I remember watching them for hours and feeling that they were watching me back. Sometimes I would talk to them, and that led to my reinterpretations of them.” After growing up and studying law, Christian found himself returning to the portraits of his ancestors again and again. In 2012 he began his lifelong project Transgenerational recreating an image of his fourth great grandmother, Luise Friederike Charlotte Eleonora Chee.
When we look at Christian’s photographs, it is easy to mistake them as paintings due to their painterly quality and authentic look, but they are, in fact, photographs. The process for creating them is intensive, as Christian takes it upon himself to completely immerse in the person. From their clothes to their jewelry to their personality, he becomes the person––even using backdrops, makeup, and prosthetics to portray a truly accurate likeness.