Artist Bio

Monyee Chau (b. 1996) is a Seattle-based contemporary Chinese American artist. She received BFA from Cornish College of the Arts in 2018. Monyee explores the journey of healing through decolonization and reconnecting with her roots and ancestors through a variety of mediums. She has shown at Cornish College of the Arts, Pilchuck Glass School, and has independently curated various DIY exhibitions throughout Seattle. She has been the recipient of multiple Pilchuck scholarships, Cornish’s Art Merit scholarship, and nominations to the Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture, and the Corning award.

Photo is a collaboration with Alexandria Britt


I am Taiwanese and Cantonese. I was born in Seattle.

This eurocentric society was what made me feel ashamed of my cultural background when I was younger; now our history, stories, and language are now aestheticized and fetishized.

My work is about decolonization; to take the reins back in telling the story of my family and my experiences, and to unapologetically take up the space back from surface level expressions that were created to try and exploit a culture that this society had whitewashed in the first place.

My practice is a journey of healing, it is one of love and understanding the relationships we have with our ancestors. A way of exploring and appreciating the labor of love that runs through our generations, and how that guides me in the artwork I create. My ancestors had brought us here to enjoy the privilege of opportunity, and to share what makes my culture special, rich, and unique.

I illustrate the strange inbetween land of the Asian American experience, its diaspora, and what it was like growing up Chinese in a white society. This story is not about experiencing a split identity between the two cultures, it’s about defining a new one.

“Chinese Born American” versus “American Born Chinese”

I’d like to take a moment to speak to this idea of choosing the phrase “Chinese Born American” rather than the classic “American Born Chinese.” Full transparency - When I typed in the domain and chose it, I totally forgot the phrase was actually ABC. Hehe.

But thinking back on it now, I feel that I never identified as a person who was ABC because I never believed that I was truly American, and that American came first. Chinese has always run through my blood first and foremost, and the phrase Chinese Born American is one I feel illustrates this idea of diaspora, that my blood is more familiar and comfortable in the Mother land than it is here. To me this new phrase is a way of claiming this identity and understanding what this experience is.