Stephanie Shih: LONG TIME NO SEE (好久不見)

Stephanie Shih: LONG TIME NO SEE (好久不見) The Rose Piece

Stephanie Shih: LONG TIME NO SEE (好久不見)

Stephanie Shih: LONG TIME NO SEE (好久不見)

On View: August 28, 2024 – June 7, 2025
Location: Reeves Museum of Ceramics
Save the Date: Artist Talk & Reception, Thursday, September 26, 2024, 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Image (left): 美(國)人(The Rose Piece), 2023, Stephanie Shih (American, b. 1986), archival pigment print on bamboo paper, mirrored vinyl, and ceramics drawn from Reeves Collection, 84 x 48 in. Museums at W&L. Image © Copyright Stephanie Shih.

Stephanie Shih: Long Time No See (好久不見) invites visitors to explore each gallery space within the Reeves Museum of Ceramics, offering an immersive exploration of hidden narratives and voices within the Museums at W&L’s nationally renowned Reeves Collection of Chinese Export Porcelain. Through 15 life-size photography and video-based still life installations, photographer and inaugural artist-in-residence Stephanie Shih unveils nuanced insights into themes of commerce, labor, imperialism, and identity.  Seamlessly blending still life traditions with Asian American perspectives, Shih juxtaposes altered still life photographs with ceramics drawn from the Reeves Collection, creating a dynamic interplay between the tangible and the photographic. Shih's work reimagines these coveted ceramics as vessels of diasporic history, prompting reflection on belonging, migration, and cultural identity in the United States. Shih's thought-provoking series encourages visitors to consider the complexities of possession, desire, and cultural heritage.

The exhibition is organized by the Museums at W&L and curated by Isra El-beshir (Director of Museums at W&L), Nalleli Guillen (Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs), and Elizabeth Spear (Curator of Academic Engagement), in collaboration with curatorial consultants Jacqueline Chao (Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Asian Art at the Dallas Museum of Art), Rachel Du (Chinese Art Specialist at Bonhams), and Kelly Fu (Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University).

Shih The Rose Piece 2
Ceramics drawn from Museums at W&L's Reeves Collection of Chinese Export Porcelain.
Shih The Rose Piece 1
美(國)人(The Rose Piece), 2023, Stephanie Shih, archival pigment print on bamboo paper, and mirrored vinyl, 84 x 48 in. Museum Purchase. Image © Copyright Stephanie Shih.

Stephanie Shih

Stephanie Shih (史欣雲) is a visual still life artist known for her painterly use of shadow applied to playful perspectives on food. Shih started making photographs with her dad's half-frame camera on childhood road trips, but only took up photography seriously later in life while in graduate school. At the time, she moonlighted as a wedding cake maker, and translating the fantastical experience of food to the visual image has been a driving throughline of her work ever since.

Shih has exhibited at venues including Hashimoto Contemporary LA, Griffin Museum of Photography, USC Pacific Asia Museum, and The Royal Photographic Society (UK). Her photography has been featured in a number of media outlets including Elle Girl Korea, 7x7, Bloomberg Businessweek, Gastronomica, Buzzfeed, and the Los Angeles Times.

Shih is from the San Francisco Bay Area and currently lives in Los Angeles. When note in the studio or kitchen creating, she is a professor at the University of Southern California.

Stephanie Shih
In Wilson Hall studio at W&L, May 2023, during the Museums' Artist-in-Residence Program. Photo courtesty of the artist.

LONG TIME NO SEE (好久不見) is a series of photograph and motion-based still life installations that delve into the complexities of the diasporic experience in America: presence/absence, integration/alienation, trauma/healing. The project mines the Asian export porcelain collection at the Museums at Washington & Lee, drawing pieces from before the first major waves of Asian immigration to the U.S. in the 1800s through the early 20th century. In the project, I directly intervene in the ongoing biographies of these export ceramics—themselves also diasporic objects—and create layered conversations with archival materials, personal experiences, art and cultural histories, and the natural world around southwestern Virginia, where the ceramics now reside. The resulting installation, which couples altered photographs with three-dimensional museum objects, is a physical metaphor for presence and absence, challenging the viewer to actively confront the (ir)recoverability of wholeness in the face of history. Much of the diasporic experience involves grappling with the continued amputation of the context of our origins, histories, and cultural practices when we are perceived as cultural “others” in American society. In weaving together historical and contemporary Asian American experiences, this project celebrates a transfer of narrative agency and power back to diasporic voices.

Events and Programming

Stephanie Shih

Artist Talk & Reception with Stephanie Shih

Thursday, September 26, 2024, 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Artist Talk, 5:30 – 6:30 PM, The Tea House (located in the atrium of the Center for Global Learning)
Reception, 6:30 – 7:30 PM, Reeves Museum of Ceramics

Join us for an Artist Talk with Stephanie Shih in the Center for Global Learning Atrium and learn more about Shih's residency project, which has culminated in an exhibition, LONG TIME NO SEE, on view in the Reeves Museum of Ceramics through June 7, 2025. The talk will be followed by a reception from 6:30 – 7:30 PM, where food and drinks will be provided. The event is free and open to all. Seats are limited and pre-registration is required.
Image courtesy of artist.