A Q&A with Mei Chen, creator of TheMeitriarchy, on her ‘Mini Hands’ artwork and inspirations
Mei Chen is a 25 year old bipolar, bilingual, and bisexual artist who sculpts ‘Mini Hands’ for earrings and necklaces.
After being fired for the first time ever, Mei was struck with creativity and motivation. Growing up, art appreciation had been the bottom of her list, but once she started visiting museums in her late teens, she realized she wanted to do art— and differently.
Mei had always been aware of how underrepresented she and people like her were in the art world. She shares that she would feel like a “weird raccoon that snuck in through the garbage shaft” when she walked through the stark white gallery rooms. Ultimately, she can only describe her experiences within museums as uncomfortable.
Mei Chen wants people to feel like they belong when they experience art. Recognizing the lack of queer artists, artists of color and artists with disabilities has pushed her to make accessible art; art that can be seen everywhere: in your room, on your clothes, and on your body.
She started sculpting in college, but had to set art aside due to her busy schedule with work. After going through many different jobs ranging from a nail tech to a Chuck E. Cheese party host and eventually getting fired from her marketing job, she found her way back to sculpting and, in particular, hands.
When asked about her influences Mei named ‘Tina Yu’, another incredible artist who also creates miniature sculptures and had a phase in her career where hands were her focus.
Mei’s work encompasses all of her influences incredibly. Her aim is to make sure her art is inclusive as well as personal, and perfectly achieves it through the range of skin colors in which her artwork is available.
She offers a range of jewelry which can be purchased directly off her Etsy page, but she also takes custom orders. Her work is customizable right down to the nail color, once again illustrating her desire to make art personal to each individual.
After struggling to find her place both within art and just general adult life, Mei Chen has created fully inclusive artwork that every person, especially those that are disabled, queer, or nonwhite, can feel comfortable with and at home in. Mei herself is pushing for the change she wants to see in the art world.
Graphic by Olivia Denyer, a graphic designer here at Ogma.