Crystal Yu

Judgemental eyes


This photo/video series focuses on self image and perception and how so much of that unconsciously is affected by variables other than ourselves. I wanted to play with the idea of perception, so I added a lot of eyeballs to this shoot! What we see is never what we perceive. Even when we are alone or in the most intimate moments of our lives (like when you are bathing!), our perception will always be affected by not only a societal collective perception (hence the fuck ton of eyeballs) but also the things we chose to consume from the media. Therefore many variables go into the beliefs we use to construct our identities and the judgments we decide to make.


This photo series captures the objectification and fetishization of Asian women, and its effect on Asian woman's’ identity. Often times in the media, Asian women are stripped of any three-dimensional personality traits, reducing them down to hyper sexualized objects. I wanted the model in the photos to look like a doll to represent just that: a hyper sexualized object. The media also projects the stereotype that Asian women are docile and submissive. This stereotype is very damaging because it sets an expectation for how Asian women should behave. This leads to a lot of internalized racism and identity confusion. The “doll” in the photo coming in a shipping box represents people “buying” into stereotypes of Asian women. Degrading stereotypes of Asian women continue to exist because people believe them and continue to feed into them. The cracks and ultimately the broken doll captures not only how fragile Asian women's’ identities have become when the only representation of themselves in the media is dehumanizing and inaccurate.


About the Artist

Hello! My name is Crystal Yu, and I am a multi-medium artist. Not only do I love conducting photoshoots and creating visuals, I also love writing and producing music. I started doing small conceptual photo shoots during my Freshman year at NYU in a time when I felt very lost about what I wanted to create. I found a catharsis in being able to express myself and my ideas through abstract and experimental photoshoots. I think there's a beauty in being able to show not tell! Many of my visuals focus on identity, perception, and self image. Being an Asian-American woman has a lot to do with my identity and perception of the world and myself, and I hope I am able to express that through my artwork.