PARTICIPATORY SPORT FOR CRAFT ARTISTS
A native of China, Bifei graduated from the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology,
He was a 2011 SNAG Educational Endowment recipient, is currently an Artist Fellow and Head of the Fine Metals Studio at the Peters Valley Craft Center, and already has an impressive list of exhibitions, prizes and awards under his belt.
To have many experiences in the art field is my wish as a foreigner studying and working in the United States. At the same time, I would like to share these experiences when exploring both technique and concept of my work as well as working at Peters Valley Craft Center (PVCC) as the Fine Metals 2011 Artist Fellow.
In my Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition, titled “Transference,” at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) in 2010, I produced a series of narrative pieces that fused my Chinese aesthetic with an expressiveness influenced by my experiences in the United States. As inferred by the title, “Transference,” my MFA thesis balanced the influences of both Chinese and Western culture. Emotions transferred from memories to current reality pull me back and forth. This exhibition and thesis aroused my interest in the research of the relationship between Chinese and Western culture through the lens of contemporary issues.
By exploring narrative art within my life experience, my current objective is to present a series of narrative sculptural pieces, which imbue Chinese patterns with contemporary issues. When synthesizing different techniques with traditional meanings of symbolic patterns in the service of contemporary issues, I am presenting a series of narrative art pieces of my life experience. A piece, titled A Frog Grows in a Well, is one of my approaches to the research, which have moved beyond the notion of pure decoration to create metaphors. Part of the piece is a functional jewelry.
By working at PVCC as the Fine Metals 2011 Artist Fellow, running their Fine Metals Studio and maintaining it and all of the equipment therein for their summer workshop season, I will present the experience as a foreigner who is involved in a non-profit organization. Through learning, appreciation and practice of the art of fine craft, PVCC offers people with fine crafts education in blacksmithing, ceramics, fibers, fine metals, photography, wood and special topics including printmaking, books & paper, drawing, and glass. During every workshop in the Summer season, PVCC holds instructor presentation, studio visiting and Sunday auction. As an artist fellow, my duties include: managing assistants, ordering supplies, setting up the studio for each workshop, working directly with instructors and offering assistance to them during their workshop in teaching various techniques, and keeping the studio a safe work environment. Also, I have demonstrated metals techniques and shared ideas at different events, such as the 2011 Peters Valley Fine Craft Fair and the Sussex County Harvest Festival. Both professional and life experiences enable me to create art that combines different cultures. I have enjoyed a lot at the artistic environment and I would like to share these experiences with any craftsman.
Therefore, my blog will share both research of my work and experience of working at PVCC as a foreigner artist specially. I will also follow the topics of SNAG conference to introduce these experiences that I have learned from the conference.
Images Top to Bottom
H2 1/2'' x W1 5/8'' x L1 5/8",
Enamel, Copper, Nugold, Sterling Silver, Wood, Acrylic
Photo by the artist
H40mmX W20mm X L115mm
Sterling silver, 14K yellow Gold, Decal on enamel, Clear coat finishing
Photo by the artist