April 1 – May 1, 2023
The Eurocentric tradition of still life has a long history of appropriating elements from cultures that it considered “exotic” while maintaining authoritative artistic dominance on the practice. In response, Open Flowers Bear Fruit (Asian American Still Life) is an on-going project that claims space in this venerated tradition for Asian American cultural experiences, directly from an Asian American perspective. The project creates an overdue dialogue between the symbology of Eurocentric still life with that of Asian diaspora traditions.
On a personal level, the series features home comfort foods from my upbringing as a Taiwanese-Chinese American—foods that are derided as “strange” in the U.S. but hold quotidian significance in Chinese culture. At the same time, the series questions the ideals of the nostalgic “All-American” experience as a daughter of immigrants, asking to what extent immigrant experiences can dovetail with notions of Americanness. On a community level, I partner with Asian American small business owners throughout the series, foregrounding their food practices that make up the now multicultural culinary landscape that pervades California. These partnerships have allowed me to present perspectives and lived experiences from the numerous cultures that feed the otherwise monolithic label of “Asian American.”
About Stephanie Shih –
Stephanie Shih is a visual still life artist, known for her painterly use of shadow applied to playful perspectives on food. Shih started making photographs with her dad’s half-frame camera on childhood road trips, but only took up photography seriously later in life while in graduate school. At the time, she moonlighted as a caterer, and translating the experience of food to the visual image has been a driving through line of her work ever since.
As a second generation Taiwanese-Chinese American, Shih explores themes of cultural dynamics—belonging,alienation, appropriation, celebration—through her still life photographs. Shih’s photography has been featured in print outlets including Elle Girl Korea, 7×7, and Gastronomica, and online on Gourmet Live,, Saveur, Fine Cooking, and Buzzfeed.
Shih is from the San Francisco Bay Area and currently lives in Los Angeles. When not in the studio or kitchen creating, she is a professor at University of Southern California.
The Griffin @ WinCam is located in Winchester, at 32 Swanton Road, Winchester, MA 01890
The WinCam Gallery hours are Monday: 11am – 7pmTuesday: 11am – 7pm Wednesday: 11am – 7pm Thursday: 1pm – 9pm Friday: 1pm – 7pm Saturday: 10am – 3pm select Saturdays. Call for availability. (781) 721-2050