“Perverse Foil” is a collaborative show between painter Dan Quintana and photographer Karen Hsiao. In this show Quintana creates eerie environments full of symbolism and solid realities in charcoal to house Hsiao’s photographic specters. These alluring phantoms can only materializes within the implement of charcoal. They clutch on to their visible form through the existence of the creatures that surrounds them. The romanticist nature these specters have for they’re perplexing surrounding can be a bit unorthodox.
The "Black Cherries" collection focuses on the minimalism in design by using simple blacks and reds to express the subtle hints of lust and rebellion within bondage. Three years in the making and after it's first appearance in Vanilla Gallery in 2013, Japan: Black Cherries is finally available at www.karenhsiao.com
Hsiao's first book entitle, KAREN HSIAO : RUBBER DUCK is pictorial representation of the conscious and unconscious mind. The rubber duck in her book is a primordial symbol shaped by our developmental and psychological patterns in life. The book starts off with childhood, continues into adolescence, and ends with death. It is all together neatly tucked into a colorful yet strangely induced image driven book. Published by Baby Tattoo Books, 2010.
"Oral Fixation" was a solo exhibition for the Galerie Ricarda Fox in Mulheim, Germany in 2011. It consisted of two portions: the main installation, which explored the sociological ramifications of the Artist's sex and race, a smaller installation that provided a series of preliminary studies that built to her main focus. Both installations were loosely adapted from the concept of Sigmund Freud's "pleasure principle." Immediately evident in these pieces is the reflection of oral and social cravings; the desire to simultaneously feed ourselves and to use the orifice as a tool of gratification. The herbs, fruits, and vegetables placed in each subject's mouth have a connotation of sexual awakening - the viewer is invited to witness the beginning of an appetite. Upon closer examination, however, each subject's mouth contains a food item or cornucopia of produce that actually serves as an obstruction to the pleasure they seek.
Hsiao had two goals through the work: first, to purge the subjects of any iconography that would be sociologically typical of their gender and / or race. Secondly, she wanted to challenge the notion of the Chinese female as subservient by choosing more aggressive and nonconforming types of Chinese women to counter the elements of obstruction in her main installation. These group of women, of which Hsiao herself is a part of, share a common cultural bond. Whether they are American born or immigrants to the US, Western culture presents them with an implicit message to take a "back seat" to men, to marry, and to have children. Such roles are cast aside in this contemporary installment.