Bifei Cao

Self-doubt: Crossing the Boundary of Culture with Personal Issues

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Self-doubt: Crossing the Boundary of Culture with Personal Issues

Being a metalsmith may not have seemed my destiny, but it has given me a joyful life. I wish to share with you the experiences I have had and those which will come when crossing the boundary of culture and lifestyle.

Members: 18
Latest Activity: Nov 25, 2013

Making objects is a way of self-realization

New to the jewelry and metals field, I would like to be a sponge, absorbing both craft and life experience.

For me, everything is an accident, studying my BA and MA degree in Beijing, being a metalsmith and coming to the United States for my MFA degree.

I was born in a small mountain village in southern China, embraced by green hills on three sides and water-locked on one side. While my parents were busy making a living, I spent my childhood in the beautiful natural environment and played games with other children. The memory of childhood life becomes the inspiration of my work and was my motivation for creating the children‘s games series.

Childhood Game:
Eagle Catches Chickens

In trying to adapt to city life, especially Beijing, the capital of China, I am uncomfortable with the crowded population and busy traffic. Traffic signs, in my eyes, are not only a method to manage transportation but also a means of control. Traffic signs become elements in my work.

Traffic Sign Series:
Stop

Cultural influences, for example the place where one was born, are rooted deeply in one‘s blood. Creative objects, which are made by hand, have an essential role in culture. I have realized that my culture is an important part of my jewelry making. During my MA program in China, not only did I explore the application of traditional craft to design work while completing a series of teapots in metals, but I also gained a deeper appreciation of Chinese traditional culture. When I came to the United States as an MFA candidate, I tried to avoid all cultural references in my work; instead I focused exclusively on Western designs, but was unsuccessful. My artistic language is imbued with my culture and I have realized that Chinese culture broadens my artistic expression and makes me unique.

When crossing the boundary of both Chinese and Western culture, the fusion becomes important in my work. The exploration of Chinese traditions outside of China helped me to build a new personal language. By exploring narrative art within my life experience, I am interested in investigating the relationship between Chinese culture and the influence of Western culture through the lens of contemporary issues.

Louise Bourgeois, in “Statements from an Interview with Donald Kuspit” in the book Art in Theory 1900-2000 says, “ What modern art is that you have to keep finding new ways to express yourself, to express the problems, that there are no settled ways, no fixed approach” (1090). When the contents or meanings come from real life experience, one has to find a method to release, either deposit them or discard them. Depositing a message or meaning into an object has become a valuable way for me to keep my life going.

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About the workshop...

The more you know about a craft the more you'll appreciate those crafted objects. Few people ponder deeply about how an object is made because they would not know where to start. For those of us who "make", the wonderment of how an object is made…See More
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Heba Barazi liked Liz Steiner's discussion Call for Content: SNAG Members on Etsy
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2Roses replied to Liz Steiner's discussion Call for Content: SNAG Members on Etsy in the group SNAG
"OK! We'll go. We've been on Etsy since 2008. Boy, have we learned a lot.... https://www.etsy.com/shop/2Roses?ref=hdr_shop_menu"
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2Roses liked Liz Steiner's discussion Call for Content: SNAG Members on Etsy
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Brigitte Martin liked Liz Steiner's discussion Call for Content: SNAG Members on Etsy
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Liz Steiner added a discussion to the group SNAG
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Call for Content: SNAG Members on Etsy

A ceramics friend of mine just opened her Etsy shop the other day and asked me for some feedback, so I told her what little I've learned from being on Etsy for 6+ years. None of which has seemed to help me make any sales.I have a sort of love/hate…See More
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Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
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Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
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Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
" VACANT SPACE:  Wythenshawe  We have a new and very large new space becoming available shortly in Wythenshawe (just outside Manchester). If you have a project or just want space for reflection and trying something out…"
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Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
" MEMBERSHIP REWARDS:  Exclusive for Axisweb Members  At Axisweb we are always looking for opportunities to support our Members.  As such we are very excited to announce the introduction of Membership…"
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Masthead Credits

Harriete Estel Berman

"The Cost of Gun Violence"

Artwork for the exhibition "Imagine Peace Now" organized by Boris Bally
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen


View background info and more images of "Vision of the Artist, Vision of the Photographer" at http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/2016/06/vision-of-the-a...

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