Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Angel No. 2

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Angel No. 2

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Cui Xiuwen


Angel No. 2

Creation Date


Medium & Support

photograph on paper

Credit Line

Gift, Joe Baio Collection of Photography

Accession Number



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Along with thirteen other pieces in the series, Angel No. 2 exemplifies phototropic image making in the digital age, as the artist conceptualizes and visualizes the issue of teen pregnancy through camera and computer. The composition features a row of pregnant teenagers replicated from one model. Bearing the consequences of (outlawed) female sexuality and the emotional trauma of pregnancy, the twelve figures reflect larger social problems of family planning policy and gender issues attendant to adolescent anxiety. The white dress suggests innocence and vulnerability in a society that regulates female chastity and sets reproductive quotas. The replication of the photographed images asserts that teen pregnancy is not simply an individual nightmare but a collective trauma. The composition positions the pregnant teens in isolation from the outside world, with female sexuality constrained by social-gender norms.

Shuqin Cui
Professor of Asian Studies and Cinema Studies, Bowdoin College

Portfolios: FEAT|Highlights on View   FEAT|Contemporary Art