George W Bush Monument
I have trained for the past four years as an actor in an intensive BFA conservatory program. The spoken word and the movement of the body have been my tools. A course in puppetry last year kindled my imagination to explore the craft of giving life to inanimate objects. What can these objects in motion
convey that the spoken word cannot? Most recently, I have utilized stop-motion animation, digital photography, and hand made crafts as the mediums for my artwork. I strive to create art that develops through the inherent qualities of the medium at hand.
My role in music, whether I am performing or teaching music, is to share music with others. When performing, I must give the notes on the page life in order to tell a story. Music is unique in that it can be used to connect with people in a way that no other medium can and often it has a profound
effect on their lives. This opportunity to “speak” to the audience through music is what drives my performances. In addition to sharing emotions, moods and ideas in music, as a performer and composer I also find myself sharing colors audibly with my audience.
As a composer, performer and music connoisseur, I sense very strong connection between music and color. The sounds of different pitches and styles of music evoke a certain color in my mind. The rhythms, articulations, tempi, register and timbre of the music influence the color that appears in my mind and together these musical elements create a mood for the piece of music, which then translates into a colorful vision in my mind. This color is a visual depiction of the mood of the piece and significantly influences how I perceive and perform the music. As a composer, this color often exists in my mind before I have actually written the music. I write to realize musically this visual depiction of mood in my mind. This phenomenon has inspired me to pursue artistic collaborations with artists specializing in a variety of mediums. Most recently I have worked artists to pair music with dance, photography and visual art and I am now engaged in a project juxtaposing a live performance of a clarinet composition I have written with an animation created by artists at the Beijing Academy.
危机 Weiji Project Proposal:
I live in one place of the world, have one mind and one history. My Chinese collaborator lives in a different place of the world has his own mind and his own history. Having never met him, I imagine what he is like, just as he, having never met me, imagines what I am like.
When I interact with a person who comes from a different place, I can sense myself acting in response to what I imagine he imagines I am like. I have experienced before foreigners telling me, “Americans all eat McDonald’s.” With the need to defend my culture, I attempt to prove them wrong by avoiding McDonald’s and junk food so that I do not perpetuate this unflattering (and untrue) stereotype. When my foreign host family praises me for having more interest in exploring the city of Beijing than they themselves, I try even more diligently to have regular excursions to new places in the city, more than I would in my own hometown. We blow up the good and hide away the bad.
I live within the stereotypes of my culture, and at the same time strive to maintain my own person, not fighting the stereotypes for fighting’s sake, but to be true to myself.
My proposed project involves juxtaposing the images that derive from the minds of two students in similar fields of study but from opposite sides of the world. The images would concern the students’ perceptions of what the other student imagines certain things to look like how the items look in the personal life of the other. In my project, I would focus on the difference between my perception of the stereotypes of my culture as perceived by foreigners and my perception of who I am and to what degree and how those two perceptions differ. My partner in Beijing would likewise document his perceptions of how I imagine him (the stereotype of his culture perceived by foreigners) and his perception of himself compared to that stereotype.
For example, I perceive the stereotype of the dress of the typical American college student to be an emblematic sweatshirt and a pair of jeans. But, how I dress as an American college student differs from that. I would photograph the two “perceptions” and display them next to each other. My partner in Beijing would do the same for his perception of how he thinks I believe the typical Chinese college student dresses and how he himself does.
Another element to perhaps include (and what spawned this idea in the first place) is a drawing game I used to play as a child. Some friends and I would fold a piece of paper horizontally into three equal parts. Without revealing to each other as we drew, on the top section of the paper, the first person would draw a head. Then, on the middle section of the paper, the second person would draw a torso, and on the bottom section of the paper, the third person would draw the legs. When the three sections were complete, we would reveal the entire piece of paper to see the “creature” we had collaboratively drawn. An example of such a creature could be a bear’s head with a car mechanic’s body and mermaid’s legs! Sometime they were as bizarre as this or could be miraculously harmonious. I also remember there being books of this sort with three sections you could flip through to create different people with different combinations of body sections.
Perhaps I could integrate this idea into my photographic “comparisons of perceptions” in some way. For example, the creature could consist of a Chinese student’s upper body and American student’s lower body.
Other categories of perception could be:
(I think it’s best that the categories to be personal enough so that neither of us has to gather props or outfits not readily available to us, and also so that the categories remain ones existent in our own lives. I would think it beneficial if my partner and I could come up with the categories together.)
These are digital video interviews that I worked on as cinematographer and editor.
New York painter Will Cotton visits us through his delightful and luxurious painting ‘Candy Stick Forest’ at Chambers lobby. When the world around us treat sweetness as poison, Will finds it as the pure, the fragrant, the desirable and the dream of complete indulgence in a perfect world. Desire is an important part of the process, and artist focuses on the un-satisfiable. It's most important that desire is never totally fulfilled. The object of desire exists only as fantasy and is therefore maintained by its own impossibility. His process of constructing elaborate candy sets is the initial reference stage for the paintings. Visually they appear so stunning as if they will start melting soon to justify his sweet sculpture production. At the same time, artist is claiming his victory via the resurgence of realism in the contemporary art arena. Advertising is the new reality and advertising imagery is the new landscape. These images exist to create desire within us. So does the aesthetics of this painting.
Simple explorations in sociology, religion, and personal experiences have proven the most influential forces in my shaping and creating of art. These explorations have pushed me to observe, investigate, and expose psychological and spiritual ideologies of the post-modern American culture I live in. My work strives to uncover and facilitate discussion of the absolute truths that relativism is founded on. Using mixed media including photography, found objects, newspaper clippings, textiles and oil paint, my work usually portrays layers of visually identifiable ideas amidst colorful abstractions.