Washington, D.C., US
As a young adult, I moved from Beijing to the Midwest of the US. The novelty of this experience has intensified over the years as I become more conscious of the ongoing transformation of my perceptions. Living and working as a Chinese artist in the US is not as simple as neglecting an old culture and acquiring a new one; it is where two sets of ideas, qualities, and histories morph into one, creating the liminal state. This foreign but exhilarating terrain stimulates the searching nature of my work, and inspires me to negotiate with ideas that explore the confluence of cultures/identities.
The very root of my work is an understanding of the self in relation to the other and vice versa. This understanding of the self applies linguistically, spatially, and culturally. Novel environments permit us to become conscious of the acts we take for granted, such as speaking, walking or gesturing. These situations can cause an immediate shifting of gears, and we suddenly feel like foreigners in our own body. I also explore the idea of comfort by constructing referenced spaces of slightly altered proportions inhabited by familiar but distorted objects. These distortions, which encourage the viewer to experience their world anew, are similar to the emotional reactions of immigrants to their non-native country/culture. The feeling of being a foreigner is not limited to migration between countries, but applies to local and emotional geographies as well. My hope is that all would have a engaging experience within the kinesthetic spaces I create and leave somehow empowered to take ownership of one’s place, wherever it may be on the creative spectrum.