Andrea Chung: “I hope that my work can bring social issues to the fore, creating dialogue and demand substantial change.”

Date: Friday, July 30, 2021

Photo: Colostrum XVI, 2021

A Force for Change is the name of the first global exhibition and auction organized by UN Women exclusively featuring works by black artists. The auction benefits black women around the world, as well as the artists themselves.

A total of 26 works by prominent artists of African descent highlight the transformative power of Black women's art in social justice movements in support of UN Women's Global Black Women's Program.

Included are works by artists Cinthia Sifa Mulanga, Tschabalala Self, Sungi Mlengeya, Wangari Mathenge, Zanele Muholi and Selly Rabe Kane, among many others. The auction is online at Artsy and the physical exhibition is at Agora Gallery in New York City.

Jamaican artist Andrea Chung, 42, talks to UN Women about her involvement in this initiative and how art and gender equality can go hand in hand.

How did you get involved in the A Force for Change auction?

I was invited by Erin Gilbert, a curator I had the pleasure of meeting a few years ago at the Black Artist Retreat in Chicago. We’d recently been in touch, and she felt my work was a good fit for the auction.

Why did you select the particular artwork you presented?

I chose a piece from my current series Colostrum because Black mothers have the highest maternal mortality rate in the United States. Historically black women’s bodies have been exploited within the medical field. Black mothers are the victims of racial biases resulting in a lack of care, difficult pregnancies, and sometimes doctors ignoring pregnancy concerns or using unnecessary procedures. These are issues that deserve attention.

How do you think art can be a driver for gender equality?

I hope that my work can bring these social issues to the fore, creating dialogue and demanding substantial change.