Loretta Chen is many things … award-winning director, bestselling author, professor, social activist and founder of her metaverse architecture and Web3 design agency, Smobler Studios.
One thing she is not: A mother. At least, not in the traditional sense of the word.
Motherhood, however, is a topic that resonates so deeply with her that she dedicated an entire book to it. M/OTHER tells the story of a drug offender who spent the bulk of her life in prison, a domestic helper who left her own children to care of those of others, teenage mothers, single mothers, a stepmother, a rape survivor and a mother of a special needs daughter.
Often defined by their “mistakes” or unfortunate circumstances, they find themselves marginalised, unheard and unseen. Chen, who’s been based in Hawaii since 2015, asks us to see them wholly, fully and humanly in the light of love, as mothers themselves.
Their story, written in their own words, is raw, intimate and deeply personal, not just because of their unique trials. After all, universally, what could be more personal than a mother – the first person who wiped away our tears, kissed our wounds, and always kept the best parts of a fish, and of themselves, for us?
WHO INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE M/OTHER?
LORETTA CHEN: My mother. She is 85. She survived a brain tumour. She is a phenomenon.
She was very forward thinking for her time. In the 70s and 80s, she raised me the way she raised my brothers, in fact, even more progressively.