Image of artwork titled "Colostrum XIX" by Andrea Chung
Image of artwork titled "Colostrum XIX" by Andrea Chung

Andrea Chung, Colostrum XIX, 2021
Collage, ink, rhinestones, pins and beads on paper handmade from traditional birthing cloth
22 × 17 × 2.75 inches

Through a variety of different mediums, Chung’s researched-based practice explores labor and materials in their relationship to post-colonial countries, the body, and migration involving perishable and precious materials with strong underlying histories. For the “Colostrum” series, Chung was interested in the exploitation of Black breast milk throughout history and how it continues still today. Black women were often used as wet nurses for white mothers and within the last decade Black breast milk was used to supply milk banks and then mothers were given Bromocripitine to dry up their breast milk, leaving none for their own babies.

Each piece in this series depicts ethnographic photographs of bare chested mothers and children collaged within a plethora of flora, beads, and pins. In both her previous and this series, Chung surrounds the figures present in the work with a protective barrier through the use of Nkisi, driving pins into a figure to give them power or protection and various color beads associated with Orishas that protect women. Furthermore, the breasts of the women and mouths of the infants are beaded with rhinestones, forming a protective barrier in relationship to their exploitation as subjects in the ethnographic images and the healthcare system that Black and Brown women encounter today.



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