Master Mind 2008 - Master of Fine Art Graduation Show 2008
In year 2006, the main focus was on studying the scholars’ stationery in the Ming Dynasty and their shapes, materials and uses as well. Having this as an reference, a series of delicate works were created out of contemporary materials with a poem corresponding with each work.
Chinese poems are the very expressions of the poets in search for the artistic beauty in arts. What the poems express are aspiration, interest and emotions. As simple as such, merely a few words embrace thoughtful meanings and elicit endless imaginations.
The ancient Chinese scholars viewed the cosmos with an exquisite sense of harmony and transformed the visual images into texts and poems. As for now, I converted the texts on the literature back into various objects. These objects are just as small and delicate as the scholars’ stationery which themselves are the physical representations of the Chinese civilizations and the spirit of the Chinese scholars.
In my solo exhibition “Poem. Imagine” in September 2006, I have selected 12 beloved Chinese poems as lead-in and reinvented with contemporary methods which led the audience into a state of ancient Chinese style.
In 2007, not only have I persisted on the series of scholars’ stationery, but also reflected and developed into the series of work “Tabletop Garden”.
Culture of the Chinese scholars is an important aspect in the civilization of the Ming Dynasty, especially for the objects and stationery of the scholars which are the physical representations of such culture. Through studying and analyzing these objects, one could understand and reconstruct the very essence of the elegant living style of those scholars in the past. In the Ming Dynasty, these objects and stationery were essential in the light of the commercial market. Under the influence of both the scholars and the merchants, these objects exhibit both cultural and commercial characteristics. They are sublime, and yet pragmatic. From the way they were placed on the table to how the furniture were put inside a house, and even how the house was constructed and accompanied with a garden, aesthetics was the central core and was utterly assimilated into the daily life.
Through the process of repeated creating and studying stationery indoors and gardens outdoors of a scholar’s room, the two different elements were combined and developed into the series of work “Tabletop Garden”.
Not only is “Tabletop Garden” an art work merely for appreciation, but also it requires a human touch to interact with. It is a part of a person’s living memory. Upon the work, marks and clues of a person’s living were left behind and so are the person themselves.