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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The Justified Sinner commented on The Justified Sinner's blog post Holiday Over
"One of my favourite Oscar Wilde quotes. Except, I don't really believe it! You would be very welcome here anytime, we could visit the Cathedral again - and you could catch up with Jivan, too. All good reasons, I think..."
yesterday
Brigitte Martin commented on The Justified Sinner's blog post Holiday Over
"Thank you for this post. When I saw the images of Coventry I was reminded that I visited as a teenager. A totally clueless teenager I should add, who had no idea what she was looking at and, to make it worse, does not remember much of anything other…"
yesterday
2Roses posted a blog post
Monday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"We learning to use Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/acj.org.uk/ACJ full members : send us some images to put up!! (remember to send us the exact acknowledgement for maker and photographer)"
Monday
The Justified Sinner posted a blog post

Holiday Over

Back to work today and straight into preparations for the coming year, both academically - for the new and continuing students - and in terms of my own work. The holiday was relaxing and fairly uneventful. On the back of my political fury of the…See More
Monday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"We now have an instagram page https://www.instagram.com/acj.org.uk/ TIPS AND TRICKS WELCOME@acj.org.uk"
Sunday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
Sunday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Please share this call for participation. We welcome proposals from graduate students, artists, curators, educators, within and outside the field of art history. Looking for your help sharing the call to get the word out. CALL FOR PARTICIPATION in…"
Sunday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"AJF We received a great response to our call for volunteers to join our board committees in active advisory roles to help direct our activities and bring ideas into action. Thanks to all who answered the appeal. We still are looking for people…"
Sunday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Watchmaker Watchmakers make and repair watches, clocks and other timepieces. People who make watches and clocks are also called horologists. They work on all types and sizes of watch and clock, from tiny wristwatches to large clocks (including…"
Sunday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Handmade at Kew is back!Book your tickets now for the second edition of HANDMADE AT KEW: The International Contemporary Craft Event, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew from Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 October 2016!Kew Gardens will again play host to this…"
Sunday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Hothouse 6 – The Future of British Crafts Hothouse is a programme of creative and business development for new makers, run by the Crafts Council. It provides makers at the start of their careers with the tools to grow sustainable and…"
Sunday

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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