“The Oriental Scene” investigates the concept of Chinoiserie architecture in the UK in the context of decolonialism. The project uses a replica of the Porcelain Tower of Nanjing in Kew Gardens as its primary object of investigation, which includes objects, drawings and documents illustrating how the pagoda was represented in various mediums.

Prompted by the “wrong number of stories” of Kew’s pagoda, this project explores the appropriation, decontextualization, and reassignment of meaning to oriental symbols across time and space. The project is concerned with interrogating Orientalism and the authoring of visual narratives. Photography is employed to present these images in a contemporary form. Through the erasure of Orientalism, the architectural redaction engages with the debate on the cultural authorship of the East.

Bio: Yuxing Chen (b.1998, China) is an art practitioner using photography and archives in her work. She received her MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography from the University of the Arts London.
Her photographic work is an exploration of narrative and representation, focusing on themes, such as, the decolonisation of difference and the exoticism of Orientalism, and the gaze that it evokes.