My artwork is inspired by Chinese culture. In my art work, I connect ancient Chinese figures and contemporary art. Since I became an Art Education and Studio Art double major at IUP, my methods and artistic style have evolved beyond what I learned in China.
I learned how to dye materials, quilt, embroider, and how to coil jute in fiber class. I used colorful dye on cotton material and cut the little pieces like puzzles to quilt them together. After I finished quilting, I used different color thread to embroider the Qin Dynasty Chinese 3D bronze ware images on the fiber.
In the Advanced Painting class I noticed how I have developed as an artist since I began attending IUP. When I began painting in the class, I only used the skills, methods, and techniques I had learned in China. My later paintings were influenced by artist Stephen Bush, who is an Australia painter. I was inspired by his paintings because they have gorgeous backgrounds, interesting characters, and details. In addition to being inspired by Steven Bush, I was also inspired by a visit to Yellowstone National Park. As a result, I painted colorful backgrounds and included images of figures, machines, and landscapes in my paintings later in the course.
The sculpture classes at IUP gave me the opportunity to learn about three-dimensional shapes and study different materials. I learned how to weld metal together, how join two pieces of wood, and how use tape and toilet paper to make a sculpture. I used Chinese red yarn to weave a woman and the strings on a violin on a sculpture I welded together of a woman playing a violin. Also on the sculpture I used wood to create Chinese characters.
In ceramics I use many Asian elements, especially Japanese and Chinese elements. I researched Ming and Qing Dynasty ceramics during the last three semester in ceramics studio classes. I learned new information about different types of materials and skills. For example, China paint is a fine powder color stain. Some of the differences between China paint and American stain is that China paint has an oil base and glaze is not used, and American stain is water based and is added to a glaze before being applied to a ceramic piece. I used to purchase China paint, but now I know how to make it due to my experience in the IUP Ceramics studio. Recently, I united 2D painting and 3D ceramics works together, when I used ceramics pencils to paint pictures on ceramics pieces. I used a variety of materials and processes in each project. Every work often consists of multiple skills.
As a result of the courses I have taken at IUP, I have further developed as an artist. I have had the opportunity to expand my skills, methods, and techniques beyond what I learned in China. I have evolved as an artist and learned new artistic mediums as a result of my experience at IUP. In the future, as a teacher, I will use what I have learned at IUP to stress the importance of art in culture and to help students explore their art skills and potentially become artists as well.