China's One Child Policy has led to a shortage of women since a boy child was prized. In America, the US Chinese Exclusion Act of 1883-1943 (1965) led to large "bachelor societies" in US Chinatowns.

Cheryll Leo-Gwin works with a variety of materials that best express her message. For the past decade, she uses her work to create interest in the Chinese and Chinese American experience. From China's Cultural Revolution and the US Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882-1943, to the Civil Rights Act and current immigration concerns, the artist uses her art as a means to educate and inform her audience of the similarities and differences between cultures in times of revolution.

With extensive experience in research and development to find materials available for artists in industry, for several years she was a consultant to manufacturers to expand their product lines using the materials specific to their industries.  This experience has informed her artwork in choosing the materials that best support the statement in any given artwork. As a result, her work often crosses over the boundaries of traditional classifications.

Around the world women, are synonymous with money and power. In most countries females are trafficked by land, sea, and air for sale to the highest bidder. 

Stories in Sculpture and Painting

​​​Acrylic on papier mache and acrylic shadow

23"h x 18"w x 23"d

One Child Policy -2011

This image can be interpreted as a dream, a nightmare, a memory, or a prediction. Abandonment due to race, gender, divorce, death, or other societal inequity leaves its indelible mark.

The US Chinese Exclusion Act of 1883-1943, and China's Cultural Revolution left women and their children separated from husbands and family, and often were totally abandoned.

This work was inspired by the artist's personal experience of racial discrimination, and also the story of a journalist in China who was separated from her family by the government during the Cultural Revolution leading to abandonment by her father.

This is an ongoing series of multi-media works that present the oral histories that the artist has collected from the Chinese women in America and in China during the past several years. The narrative in the artwork reflects the effect of legislation, imprisonment, revolution, and culture on women and their families historically and today.

Golden Lilies are a metaphor for the bound foot. After the railroads were completed, the Chinese were burned out of their homes, murdered, and driven out of the United States with no protection under the rule of law.

Acrylic on board- 30"h x 30"w x 2"d


Golden Lilies - 2011

While the US enforced it's Chinese Exclusion Act, Canada had a twin act. A Chinese American citizen married to a Chinese Canadian citizen could not live together and families were kept apart.

Acrylic on papier mache - 23"h x 18"w x 12"d

Twin Acts - 2011

Acrylic on papier mache  - 23"h x 18"w x 8"d

Abandoned - 2017




Marilyn and Mao - 2011


Acrylic on papier mache  -  23"h x 18"w x 8"d