Addressing the past and future in the macro level and micro level is the central theme of my artworks. I chose this theme because I want to go back to the macro past and witness the world of the past. I also want to go back to the micro past to make up for my regrets. Whether it is an individual’s past, a country’s past, a civilization’s past, or the past of this world, they are all worth remembering. Individual’s past has their fond memories; the past of a country laid the foundation for it; the past of a civilization records its footsteps of development; and the past of the world is the process of species evolution. I choose the future in my theme because I yearn for the future. I look forward to what the future will look like. I also explored the effect of the past on the future in my theme. My artworks contain Chinese elements in it as well because I am from China and I want to reveal some of the culture of my homeland.
My art making began with a macro level past and future work: Past and Future. The composition of this work is very simple: the left is the past, and the future is on the right. There is an arch with Chinese elements and a bungalow on the left, and a modern city on the right. My following piece The Great Wall also contains ancient Chinese culture. The Great Wall of China validated the change of history for thousands of years. My other macro level artwork portrays ancient Chinese culture is Dragon. Dragon is the symbol of Chinese culture, it also can show the micro level “I” because my Chinese Zodiac is dragon. Not only the past and future about Chinese culture, my artworks also involved the past and future of the other parts of the world. The Destroyed Earth described a future I imagined where human beings intemperate to destroy the environment and eventually lead to the earth being destroyed. Destroyed Artifacts demonstrates three different virtual ancient cultures and the attitude of modern people toward them. There is also artwork of mine describing the micro level past and future around me. The painting Fall depicts the multicolored fall of last October in Vermont. I express my theme through the different levels and different cultures of the past and future. My theme expresses the nostalgia for the past and longing for the glorious future.
The use of acrylic, charcoal, and clay are the majority in my artworks. I like acrylic because it has a similar look to oil painting, and dries faster than oil painting which makes people complete the painting swiftly. Acrylic also can be diluted in water which can paint different textures according to the concentration of water. I chose to use charcoal because it is similar to graphite but more spontaneous in its creativity. I like the speed of using charcoal in my painting, ranging from very thick lines to soft and subtle shadows, and any shades of shade I want to use. Clay is very easy for me to create 3 dimensional sculptures. It is softy and easy to pinch into the shape I want. Besides, I like to color the clay with acrylic after finishing to make it more exquisite.
To establish a relationship between my artworks and audience, I hope my audience can see Chinese culture in my works. So some of the objects I have used in my artworks to symbolize my artistic intentions are those relative to Chinese culture, such as the Chinese arch, the Great Wall, and Dragon. Global issues also contained in my works, such as environmental pollution, war, and poverty. This makes my artworks significant to the audience, which aids them in interpreting my work.