The varied experiences of multiracial people can be hard to put into words. So artist Samantha Wall didn't — she used images instead.
For her new project "Indivisible," Wall staged photo shoots focused on women who identified as multiracial, engaging them in conversations about their lives while snapping pictures of them for as long as two hours each.
Then Wall, who was inspired by her own experience navigating her multiracial identity in Korea, selected a single image that best represented each exchange, and created a portrait of each of her subjects.
"It's difficult to talk about multiraciality with individuals who can't understand our perspective," Wall told the Huffington Post. "It's not as simple as being part this and part that; our identities can't be so easily divided. But art is a language that lends itself to communicating experiences too difficult to comprehend through words alone."
"Through this work I am exposing the plurality of emotions that sculpt human subjectivity," she explained in a statement on her website. "The drawings of these women are portals into the human psyche, a place where emotions call out and perceived racial boundaries dissolve."
You can see the rest of the images here.
Expect to hear more about multiracial Americans
"Multiracial individuals must navigate between cultural histories and social boundaries while our very existence questions, and consequently threatens, the integrity of those boundaries," Wall, who was born in South Korea but lives in Portland, Oregon, told the Huffington Post. "I think that's a great thing but it's also an experience that can be alienating and frightening."
But it's safe to say that it's becoming less alienating all the time, with 9 million Americans selecting more than one race on the last census, and shocking growth predicted for this group. Demographers predict its population will skyrocket 193 percent between 2010 and 2050.
The predicted changes could mean artists like Wall, who are inspired by the multiracial experience, will have a lot more material. But it's also possible that the shifts will usher in a time when people who are "part this and part that" are so commonplace that projects like "Indivisible" are no longer needed to explain their lives.
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