The critical part of my life is to wear multiple hats-on as an artist, a traveller, a chef, a community organizer, and a cultural producer. I never confine the media employed in my practices as long as they help to channel creativity and provocative ideas. My artwork could range from, painting to installation, a pop-up event, interactive communication. As I think, an artist shall be cross-media instead of stay professional only.
As a traveller, my trips covered many countries such as Iceland, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Japan during my graduate study at Chelsea College of Arts of the University of the Arts London (UAL). At UAL, I started to consider the relationship between environments and human beings. So my works were then deeply informed by each place I visited, and they became a personal archive as well as my approach to communicating with a different geographic and cultural landscape. And these travel practices continue in my life.
It was also this traveling experience that made me a comprehensive role as cultural producer as that I am now. My methodology to expand this personal archive usually is to prepare a delicious dinner. Having people sit around and chat in person, when people talk about current issues by the table instead of in a meeting, the way of communication changes its mode to interpersonal communication, flexible and receivable. And people exchanging ideas over how they observe life and motivate their creations. I believe art is not only a final paint cause art has many aesthetic forms, and is researches and emotional contacts enchanted during its formation. Food Plan was one of my travel art practice when I was in New York in 2017. I invited artists, curators, designers and those strangers to share food or stories with me, including art director, artists, art residents, journalist and so on, their methodologies and attitudes towards the world were entirely into my further works based on different backgrounds of them.
Besides traveling, I have involved in many local based research and studies, even events by joining the camp - itp camp at New York University, residencies, short courses also giving talks and lectures. The interactive communication structured my understanding of my artistic construction.
My artistic practices centers around "origin" and "measures". Before, they were tempera and perspective, and now they are scientific fundamentals in the areas of mathematics, optics, mechanics, and even emerging technologies, such as Processing, P5.js, Arduino and Kinect with Unity. I always intoxicated in art delivered out of these fundamentals as opposed to those based on conventional approaches.
Triangle is the most common motif of my paintings and other works, as it is one of the most basic and simple geometric forms and the origin for paradoxical meanings. In Euclidean geometry any three points, when non-collinear, determine a unique triangle and simultaneously, a single plane (It is no longer valid in higher-dimensional Euclidean spaces, only fit in 2-dimensional space). Triangle represents stability when it is upright. But when rotated 180 degrees, the triangle has to support its massive mass atop to use its tiny vertice. It shows tension, conflicts and aggression due to its unbalanced mathematic nature. Besides, in many kinds of culture and literature, the upright triangle often stands for male, while the inverted one for female. It was this infinite possibility of the triangle that enabled my repetitive use of it to create the various form of my work presentations.
Although my works are mainly abstract paintings, I cannot entirely agree that abstract art has a history of western culture only. As in Ancient China, people chased "the image beyond image" aesthetics since the Tang Dynasty, which the Chinese Aesthetics recognize it as the ancient saying of abstraction. It means the image remaining in vision and the vision revealing beyond the image. First "image" refers to the reality of the world, and the next probably refers to the concept of the abstraction. That is to say, the history of Chinese idea drives its branches in the literature to aesthetics and it different from the abstract of the geometry of Euclid's axiomatization which the concept of abstract has the foundation of mathematics. And by combining two types of ideas, my sense of the abstract art turns to the geometry utilization instead of the image of polygonal combination. So I think my works are far more beyond the triangle. People form "the picture in the brain" in mind via visual system according to the discussion of visual expansion which is a part of and takes advantage of geometry in mathematics. Besides the shape of triangles, rules and sequences are also the extensions of visual mathematics in my works, they run under the motifs and work in isomorphic relationship with the triangle. Mathematic orders illusory the direction of shapes and they translated the simplified and conceptual geometry into the image beyond the image.
My art practices are not the destination but the source to all destinations. The process of understanding knowledge is the source of origin which hardly do without personal taste, and this taste surrounded and affected by the environment, public spheres, and social inclinations. The measure provides a broader sense at all scales of worldview and methodology. With these scientific fundamentals and technologies, my works of art are far in excess the boundaries of two-dimension paintings and three-dimension world.
Another significant feature of my practices is color selection and color composition over the years. There are plenty of colors existent, and human beings could recognize only 150 types of colors. And things happened differently in other animals as each of species has differentiation on their visual system. The observation, scientifically and technologically, depends on the object, the media, and the first dealing image. When the light refraction of an object back to human vision, it projects the image at the visual cortices of the brain through retina and lens. The rainbow looks curved cause it is the example of light refraction, so the light is curved. Does the image is the projection of reality? The screening is what we think of it is?
The colors in my works are neither what people see nor what people think, are a comprehensive connection of invisible and visible colors I managed. The hidden colors primarily mixed with the primer underneath and the visible colors are super thinning sticking on the top of all. Doing my works unpredictable was one of my crucial parts, as well.
Later, I started to divided my works into separate projects, but each one of them has the above features. By separating them, I introduced in multi themes. Take an example of my "YIN and YANG" spatial installation. I translate the traditional Chinese philosophy in a room. There were five elements of metal, wood, water, fire, and earth where attached clockwise on the wall, with a rolling 2-sides mirror moved counterclockwise in the centre. There are many balances in China, and the main one is yin-yang (the two opposing principles in nature). Yin-yang refers to human life-energy; they are not fixed or still but active and changeable; yin-yang could represent not only two different things or forces but also the two opposite aspects existing within one unity. To keep the balance of the whole is the key to yin-yang.
Another understanding of Chinese nature balance is restriction and generation. The order of restriction goes as follows: wood restricts earth, the earth does water, water does fire, fire does metal, and metal, in turn, does wood. The generation among those five elements refers to the relationship in which each aspect promotes another sequential one. Earth generates metal, and metal generates water, water creates wood, wood creates fire and fire makes the earth. All-natural elements summarized in these five main factors, which combine and define our world, it is like the conservation of energy nowadays.
My practices are also profoundly informed by each place I visited as a traveller, and they became a personal archive as well as my approach to communicating with a different geographic and cultural landscape. "CityPlan" was a registration of my trips to various cities such as Reykjavik, Amsterdam, Basel, Tokyo during my study in London. Later it evolved into a new body of work, "Money Works" after I incorporated fragments of banknotes of different countries into intricate arrays of triangles, which I called a surgery of banknotes enhancement that reveals the possibilities behind the paper money's original colours, patterns, and values. A highly artistic condensation for my works concentrate on origin and measures, but it contains triangle, geometric, mathematical, sequences, colours, and multimedia in multi-forms.
I gained an MA from Chelsea College of Arts at the University of the Arts London. My works have been exhibited internationally and in China. The United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Korea (key exhibitions include but not limited in Art Miami Wearable Art Exhibit, The 2nd "CAFAM·Future" Exhibition at CAFA Art Museum, ART: GWANGJU, Art Fair Tokyo, Art Vancouver, Art on Paper, ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair). Significant collections include K11 Hong Kong and OCAT Shenzhen where much more information can found on my CV.
Proposed Practice & Research
The previous research of my Master's Degree was about the working methods of artists. I listed several artists like Roman Opalka, Niele Toroni who use the single media and pattern to present their visual appearances, Sarah Morris, Tomma Abts who obey the nailed mediums and scales to work. The above artists mainly focus on abstract shapes, and their unique working methods focus on geometric figures. This situation of contemporary art leads my curiosity to the fields among culture and geometry communication, historical Chinese abstraction, and the utilization of geometry in Chinese Art.
So my future research may surround the topic of culture communication, and I narrowed it down to the part of science and art, mainly geometric interaction as the basis of science in ancient China. There was no geometry, but arithmetic exists. My proposal "The Communication and Art Utilization of Projective Geometry in Ming and Qing Dynasties", discussed the spread of Euclid's Geometry and the use of it in China. I found out the Chinese ancients took advantages of geometry more than in science aspects include astronomy, mathematics, and they use it in machine making, geography prints, as well as paintings. As innovators, many missionaries contributed their knowledge in China. Unfortunately, they did not achieve their goals to spread Christian widely, but they left the western civilization and promoted the diffusion of knowledge. In the paper, I analyzed and indicated the essential conditions of geometric communication like the global traffic after the Great Discovery of geography, dynasties changes, the scholars and translators, as well as the people who use geometry in many aspects with examples. The history of humanity reveals that progress is possible if we learn from the past and breakthroughs can be achieved in the course of challenges overcome. After studying the spread of western science and some artist works changing during that period because of it, we see their attitudes on how artists treat new technologies, either they largely accepted it, or largely rejected it, or partially accepted it. We can see this same thing happening today.
My works have sequences, geometry, also have already used some technologies.