Being a first generation American Chinese,
Mamie Joe was originally encouraged to be an
artist by her grandfather, who was an artist himself. Her parents, however, wanted her to be involved
in a more lucrative field such as science or medicine. But Mamie really had no interest in anything
except art. Even when she was very young, she
would sit for hours while minding her parents'
small grocery store and sketch. By the time she
had finished her senior year in high school, she
knew that she would never be happy with herself unless she could prepare for a future in art. For
Mamie, the very basic elements of line, space and color are essential ingredients in her art. How
these elements react with one another is always her major concern in every piece of art she does. Her primary effort is directed toward studying the interrelationship of positive and negative spaces
while giving more emphasis on composition. Mamie is determined to work toward solidifying her
work by using high contrast as well as various textures, while continuing to manifest sensitivity.
She employs symbols, which have special
meanings that relate to her own childhood. Her
art has always reflected the cultural complexities of her family's traditional Chinese background with her upbringing in the South.