Taking Liu Manwen’s self-portraiture series, especially her Ordinary Life and Monologue, as examples, this article argues that the self-subject via self-portraiture comes to terms through social-cultural constitution and visual articulation. With face masked and body wrapped, Liu Manwen’s self-portraiture locates a troubled self against familial relations and social-cultural confinement and searches for self-expression through mirror reflection and spatial articulation. Issues specific to the discussion include spatial anxiety, where the self reconciles familial place and social space; psychological exploration, where the split self negotiates between the symbolic and the semiotic through mirror reflection; and bodily disguise, where the self conceals and reveals troubled identity through a masked face and bandage-wrapped body.

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