Chinese Clay Doll talks about how some Chinese girls became orphans because of China’s one-child policy. This piece utilizes lots of theme stamps which were published after the launch of the one-child policy. These stamps have the meaning of “sending out,” which also refers to these orphans’ destinies of being sent out and abandoned. The main characters are Chinese traditional clay dolls. This concept is based on a classic Chinese children’s song, “The Doll of Clay” (or “The Clay Doll”). There is one phrase of lyrics, which says: “doll of clay, a doll of clay, she is the doll of clay, she has no papa, she has no mama, she has a mouth but cannot speak, she has the eyebrows and eyes, but the eyes cannot blink.” China’s one-child policy ended in 2015. It has more than thirty years of history. This policy has a significant meaning in this country’s population management and economic development. However, one sword always has two sides. Because of the conflicts between the new policy and some old Chinese traditional values, boys are preferred over girls. These orphan girls become the quiet sacrifice under this policy.
Zoey Han is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and studies in Seattle, Washington. She is an international student who is from Inner Mongolia, China. Her artworks have various forms and media, but recently her main study focuses on glassmaking and printmaking.