Several artists Lugo included in the show are creating work inspired by their cultural heritage, like his former grad school classmate, Christina Erives. Erives creates work to embrace Mexican traditions and rituals, including cooking. Her work in the show is a green ceramic pepper, which hangs on the wall beside a photograph of a plate full of the faux-vegetables, with her hand painted the same green hue.
Jennifer Ling Datchuk, who was born to Chinese and European immigrants, reflects on her identity as a half-Asian woman in her work. She often employs the symbolism of blue-and-white ceramics, a tradition that originated in Asia before being poached by Western Europeans. For her piece Exotic AF (2017), Datchuk broke plates from English, German, Swedish, Japanese, and Chinese potteries, then mixed them together and encased them in a clear, trophy-like vessel. It’s topped with a figurine of an Asian woman and a placard that reads “Exotic AF.” It’s a sly response to the experience of being approached by men at bars who ask her where she’s from, and then tell her she looks “exotic.”