This body of work has been exhibited as "A Portrait of Xinjiang" because that is exactly what it is: a glimpse into the beauty and unique culture of the minority people of China's northwest province of Xinjiang, in particular the Uyghur people. I had the privilege to live among them for many years, and I fell in love with their gregarious hospitality, their rich and complex language, and the colors, flavors, and textures of their ordinary lives. Currently the Uyghur people are in danger of cultural genocide. They are painted as terrorists who need to be reformed. This is not at all an accurate picture of the kind and intelligent people I came to know. I hope to tell a different story with my paintings. I hope to help the world see their humanity and their dignity; to understand that they are a people worth protecting.