Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Preview image of work. photograph on paper,  Angel No. 2 36961


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Angel No. 2


Cui Xiuwen (Harbin, China, 1970 - )


Angel No. 2

Creation Date



early 21st century



Creation Place

Asia, China

Medium and Support

photograph on paper

Credit Line

Gift, Joe Baio Collection of Photography


This artwork may be under copyright. For further information, please consult the Museum’s Copyright Terms and Conditions.

Accession Number


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