MY BODY, NOT MY RULES centres on creating a series of paintings that investigate themes of sexual violence and ‘The Gaze’ while seeking agency as well as explore the female body and reclaiming authority. My eagerness to confront women’s issues allowed me express myself through my work by surrounding my themes around the gaze along with personal experiences of sexual harassment and assault. Alongside my previous experiences of sexual harassment and assault, I was most triggered by a recent sexual assault incident with a trusted close friend of mine. The experience made me feel suffocated, invaded, and painful. I needed a place to express these feelings and in an attempt to process my trauma, I create works of the female body, interrogating the question: ‘What is so appealing about the female body?’
Born in 2002, Aiko is an Australian painter, of the Asian diaspora, currently maintaining her practice on Wurundjeri Land of the Kulin Nations in Naarm, Melbourne. Currently enrolled in her final year of her BFA in the RMIT School of Art, she excels in contemporary acrylic and oil painting. Her recent works have been exhibited in the Australian High Commission IN Exhibition in Singapore as well as the Art A4 Annual Exhibition and Global Intensive Art Program Japan Final Exhibition Showcase at the RMIT Site Eight Gallery, Melbourne. Additionally, Aiko recently travelled to Japan on an imbursed university trip and had woodblock print work exhibited in Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum Japan alongside her peers.
Aiko Yuen, Initial process of acrylic painting ‘Liability’, video, 2023