A New Studio
Supper Moment, 2019
Supper Moment, 2019
Dimensions: 65x40 inches
Medium: Mixed Media (Acrylic on wood/ceramic/foam/board, fabric, ink on ceramic, ceramic, etc.)
This installation serves as a celebration of my 23rd birthday, intertwining reflections on my past experiences with gratitude for being alive and an optimistic outlook for the future. I describe this installation as a "layer cake" to convey the multiple meanings and depths it encompasses. Having been raised in China and later moving to North America at the age of 18, both Chinese and Western cultures have profoundly influenced me. This forms the foundation of the first layer of the cake.
At the core of this installation is the concept of a birthday, a universally recognized celebration that opens up discussions and creates a joyous atmosphere. Birthdays evoke a bright and cheerful sentiment, yet they also remind us of our mortality, casting a contrasting shadow of darkness.
Furthermore, the installation touches upon the recent trade war between China and the United States. While the United States is often seen as a global leader, China's rapid development has positioned it as one of the most powerful countries. The debate surrounding which nation holds greater power and which will suffer more in this conflict remains a prevalent topic of discussion. As a Chinese individual residing in the United States, I find myself torn between the two sides. This forms the second layer of the cake, delving into the political dynamics that impact both countries and the global economy.
Several themes are explored within this installation, including the language battle between Chinese and English (which language holds greater popularity), Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese (Chinese/Putonghua and Cantonese), the effects of globalization (the tendency towards cultural homogeneity), and the challenges faced when transitioning between different countries (feeling disconnected from one's home culture while struggling to assimilate into the current country of residence). It raises questions about the meaning of "home" and an individual's sense of belonging. This constitutes the third layer, an underground layer that intertwines personal experiences with broader global issues that resonate with everyone.
In its entirety, this installation invites contemplation and discussion while shedding light on various aspects of cultural, political, and personal identity within the context of a globalized world.