A strong command of visual language of Yee Ling Tang (1972) can be seen in her exploration of the Western stereotype of young Asian women, as she employs the language of construct to de-construct. When we see Ten Portraits equalizing elements are at once noted for their limiting cultural implications while they also serve to differentiate each woman’s unique features.
The relationship of sitter to photographer is expanded to the viewer in a triangle around the ideas of how cultural and gender identities are defined and perpetuated. Tang’s choice to show women of Asian descent with black hair braided in this traditional way, in front of an exclusively red environment, makes immediate reference to stereotypical notions of Asian culture. On the other hand, red is an important color in Chinese tradition, and the women’s direct gazes appear to derive power from it. - Laura A. Guth, Light Work, NY