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Western Academy of Beijing

Western Academy of Beijing

Western Academy of Beijing

10 Lai Guang Ying Dong Lu
Chaoyang District, Beijing P.R.C. 100102

3D exhibitions

  • Western Academy of Beijing

    WAB Visual Arts 2020 - G12 Art & Design

    09 Jun 2020 – 09 Jul 2020

    Students working in diverse media created art-works inspired by personal curiosity, or in response to social issues.

  • Western Academy of Beijing

    WAB DP Visual Arts (HL) 2020 - Jerome Cheung

    Curatorial rationale not available

  • Western Academy of Beijing

    WAB DP Visual Arts (HL) 2020 - Anna McClanahan

    This body of work is meant to explore the types of relationships and dynamics a person experiences throughout their life. In each pair of work, there is a reflection in a positive or negative aspect of certain relationships they may have with themselves or others. For example, in “Torn”, a person uses power to bring someone down. Meanwhile in “Built” they were both built up. I was driven to present a body of work that would investigate the different aspects of relationships based on the actions that we as humans take, thus showing the positive and negative sides of each theme. The central questions explored by these art works was about how human relationships affect the relationship we have with ourselves as well. Each piece has a human or humans as the central focus, showing the effect of these relationships. For example, in “Wonderland”, the focus is on the man’s life after the a break up. and Eeach photo shows how the relationship he had with a women lead to him to making unhealthy decisions when it ended. In contrast, the photography piece, “Dystopia”, shows how another man choses to rebuild the relationship with himself after his relationship with his boyfriend ended. All the artworks I have selected explore a specific relationship and have either a positive or negative outcome based on the path the people take in the art work. The recurring idea of nature has been highlighted in this collection to show growth, love, and joy, but the dead plants show a sense of deterioration, harm, or unhappiness. The pieces that reflect each other contrast in color pallets palettes to show the negative and positive directions these relationships can take. For example, in my photography piece “Wonderland” when showing what is thought to be a positive relationship, there are bright and vibrant colors and flowers. However, in the photography piece “Dystopia” the color is a brown and dark monochrome to show a dark and abusive relationship. In “Wonderland” the lighting is also bright until the reveal of the truth when it gets much darker. In “Dystopia” the lighting is dark and transistions to a lighter pallet palette near the end, which is a reflection of the “Wonderland” piece. As the people walk through the exhibition they will be able to explore new types of relationships, and by the way it is set up, be able to see the pairs of negatives and positives displayed. The artworks have been arranged next to their respective reflection. The exhibition is a semi-circle, so the viewer can approach any piece to show these relationships can come any time in our lives. I grouped the pieces in a way that the audience can understand how their decisions or other people’s decisions can impact a relationship. The literal reflection of each piece will allow them to be thoughtful about the message of this body of work. Depending on the emotion I want the audience to feel, the position of the artwork changes. I also want some of the pieces to also make the audience emphasize more with the people in the story. For the photography piece “Wonderland”, the viewer is forced to look up implying that the man in the story has power and control. AHas it travels down, it meets them at eye-level showing stability, the audience looks down on the piece as it reveals the man was actually vulnerable and has lost control over his life. For most of the pieces, it is at eye level because I don’t want it to feel too powerful or intimating to the point it doesn’t feel like a person or story they can emphasize with. By allowing the viewer to view in a comfortable position, it is relatable and helps show each work could represent a relationship they have had or experienced before. I wanted the audience to feel empathetic in that they have personally understood or experienced some of the emotions or stories depicted in these pieces. Depending on which artwork they’ve experienced this emotion could change, but between each reflection of positive and negative, I hope the connection they experience can help them understand or reflect on how this dynamic can change. As a result, I want the audience to be able to question how their actions can affect a relationship or chose the outcome of the result of a relationship.

  • Western Academy of Beijing

    WAB DP Visual Arts (HL) 2020 - Rory Mason

    Raised in the suburbs of Sydney, I had grown accustomed to the relaxed pace of life and the beauty of the nature/environment. Upon migrating to Hong Kong and then Beijing, the urban bustle was a big change for me. When beginning this body of work, I had been in these modern environments for a number of years and began to reflect on how and why I and the areas around me have been affected. This body of work is a reflection of my thoughts and observations on the effect an industrializing/modern time has had on environments, people, and products. In this body of work, I put an emphasis on elements/ideas I observe in my daily life: bricks, construction, cranes. Through this, the recurring ideas of mass production, standardization, and construction have been highlighted in the collection. I chose to do this because despite my multi-national upbringing and travel, nowadays almost everywhere I see looks the same due to the omnipresent bricks, construction sites, and cranes. This is reflected in my work where the viewer is also unable to escape these visual symbols of the ever-growing world we live in. However, as explored in the collection, these ideas are multi-dimensional and not limited to that of a single effect in my life: In Hutong and Child Pollution the brick rubble is similarly polluting and indicative of the main subject’s future or present reality. On the other hand, bricks are also used to indicate a foundation that they have created for further progression in humanity, whether for good or bad (e.g. to aid in the progression of technology in products or to contribute to a growing global waste problem in Obsolescence, to lay a metaphorical and physical foundation for low-skilled workers to come and work but cause these workers to be exploited in Hukou). Still, some motifs kept a similar disposition but were further elaborated on when revisited in later piece. In my first piece Hutong and 8th piece Animal Pollution, the looming cranes are similarly imposing on their main subject matters, similar to how I have felt in different locations of equivalent looks. However, while in the first instance of cranes they are simply looming, the imagery of cranes evolves in Animal Pollution to become a symbol of a system which systematically harms earth for material profit. Highlighting this progression, the first work that viewers encounter in the exhibition is the Hutong, which eventually leads to Hukou. Mimicking the mass-production prevalent in our current day, many of the pieces in the collection are part of a smaller series of work. , especially Obsolescence to highlight the mass-production of products and Child Pollution to highlight the mass-production which eventually pollutes and damages the health of children.I also selected work to evenly focus on the various areas of the changes that have accompanied modern advancement. When entering the exhibition space, I wanted viewers to feel as though they are surrounded without escape, as I have felt in an urban environment. To achieve this, I created an almost perfect circle with my work, with a single opening to enter and exit that may become ‘clogged’ during exhibition. This not only mimics the traffic of vehicles and people in an urban environment but also the large presence of people and overcrowding a city may experience. I also aimed to metaphorically mimic my experience of moving to a big city by the arrangement of pieces. Placing works of varying sizes next to each other, viewers will continually have to adjust their perspective by stepping back and forth to view my work, similar to how I felt like I had to adjust when I arrived in Hong Kong and Beijing.

  • Western Academy of Beijing

    WAB DP Visual Arts (HL) 2020 - Grace Yang

    As a Chinese girl raised in a traditional household but attending an international school, I witness the conflict between the old generations & contemporary cultures, as well as communication between the locals and foreign communities in China. The examination of cultural interaction in contemporary society is the heart of my work. These conflicts, captured on social media, often result in misunderstanding and lead to stereotypes between groups of people. Therefore, based on personal observations, the central aim in my body of work, is to examine how seemingly dichotomous cultures and influences attempt to coexist and integrate in Beijing to form new Beijing identities. My body of work can be divided into 3 sections: glory of traditional culture, conflicts between local and global culture, and prospects of the future with reconciliation of cultures. In the first section of the exhibition, I present the big picture of the current globalized world in “Internet of Things”, and set the context in “Beijinger’s Map”. In the second section, I evaluate highlights and setbacks of ancient heritages and globalization. Moving on to the examination of globalization, I present the marginalization of traditional cultures and online xenophobia in “#E girls”. In the last section, I propose the ideal integration of cultures, and prospect the future of rapid development in China fueled by traditions. In my selection of work, I was driven to provide a balanced evaluation of the relationship between traditional and modern culture by presenting both the bright side as well as the conflicts. The exhibition opens with two pieces that set the context of my body of work. Viewers will first see the iron ball “Internet of Things”, which introduces a big picture of my investigation: globalization and traditional cultures. Next, they will see “Beijinger’s Map”, which sets my focus specifically on Chinese culture, and explores how tradition and modernity in Beijing coexist. The next section is an evaluation of cultural conflicts within China, and in the world. After viewing “Reach the Sky”, a praise of Chinese mythology, viewers will see “Fight the Odd”, which criticizes how collectivist values confines individual democracy in modern China. Extending the critical examination beyond local China, viewers will then explore dominance of pop culture on the internet through “#E Girls.” They will also investigate global citizen’s xenophobia and prejudice in “Antidote,” inspired by Van Gogh. Deeply worrying about the critical circumstances, viewers will move to the final section to be more hopeful. “Panorama of Cities, Mountain, and Rivers” echoes “Beijingers’ Map” exhibited early, but shows intricate connections and reconciliation of history in modern Beijing. Viewers approach the end of the exhibition with “Chang E” flying towards the moon, leaving a bright anticipation of China’s future in globalization. As many of my works are life-size, designed in a large scale, and installed at viewers’ eye level, I want the audience to feel engaged in my theme of cultural conflict and connection. “Internet of Things” will be exhibited in a dark room, with a light bulb in the center to illuminate the strings and wires. Standing amid the dark as if in the universe, the audience will be awed by the grand human civilization and cultures when they see the strings glowing in the dark. “Panorama of Mountains, Rivers and Cities” is created in a huge scale to engage the viewers be part of the map. “#E girls” are a series of photography presented in Instagram style modelled by students in the same age as the viewers: they are the representations of the youthful, global aspect of the culture. I hope this will bring a higher relatedness to the viewers and evoke their examination of their role on the internet. Finally, “Chang E” is installed above eye level. As the viewers look high above, they will feel the distance between themselves and the moon, which represent prospects for the future. Evoking their motivation to reach the moon, I wish my exhibition prompt viewers to rethink their relationship with traditional cultural heritage, to incorporate the past in the present, and connect the indigenous with global cultures.

  • Western Academy of Beijing

    WAB DP Visual Arts (HL) 2020 - Chia-Hua (Chloe) Chang

    Everyone creates their own stories. Oftentimes, however, stories that don't highlight the positive aspects of society are ignored or hidden. As such, I was driven to present a body of work that discusses hidden stories. Collectively, these works illustrate a range of individual stories, but also reflections on a societal issue or a wider social community. In each of the stories I present, there is a challenge but also a dream or hope that comes with it: hope for education, hope for life, hope for wealth, hope for equality, hope for freedom, hope for beauty and more. There are yarns pinned to each artwork to physically connect all pieces. The majority of these stories are chosen from the media, such as “Felicia1,” which explores her hope for life as she fights through breast cancer. Yet, a few of them still have personal connections. The artworks “Puppet2” and “Don't Filter Me” both express stereotypes of the Asian community to which I belong. Each artwork represents one real-life story. The exhibition is presented as a humans-sized storybook. As the display boards are formed into a guiding path for viewers to walk through, I have arranged an order of viewing. From personal stories to the ones that explore a strong sense of social community such as “Puppet,” the viewers are envisioning the greater picture of the society as they walk through. The artwork “Bedtime Stories of the Truth Untold” hang down from the ceiling as the “book covers.” My exhibition explores stories, social issues, global commonalities and “truth.” I reveal these stories to my viewers, hence the title “The Bedtime Story of the Truths Untold.” The storybooks in childhood are always wonderful, sweet yet unrealistic. In reality, there’re people suffering, hiding from social or political expectations and seeking hope. Through the irony between a “bedtime story” and the “reality,” I wish to entertain, inform, and most importantly, inspire my viewers. Not everyone is as privileged, as healthy, as wealthy, as free. Thus, the recurring idea of sharing other’s stories has been highlighted in the collection not to criticize the viewers but to alert and encourage the viewers to understand other communities that may not share the same background as us. As viewers walk into the exhibition, they are entering the “storybook.” When the viewers enter the exhibition, they might think that this will be a peaceful, cheerful exhibition. Yet, as they exit the exhibition, they’ll have realized they’ve explored a range of “ugly” stories that made them feel uncomfortable. The crying face and a ripped scar of the fabric on the back cover to symbolize the revealing of truths. The extending yarns coming out at the exit of the exhibition symbolize the stories are never-ending. Oftentimes, we don’t respond to the social issues around us. In fact, most of the time we choose to ignore so we won’t feel empathetic or guilty about it. The purpose isn’t to make my viewers feel guilty about being privileged. Instead, I hope they can see the world from a different perspective and reflect on the actions and judgments we have made.

  • Western Academy of Beijing

    WAB DP Visual Arts (HL) 2020 - Chenxi (Takumi) Li

    As a Chinese who was born and raised in Japan, I have experienced different approaches to my identity problems from both Japanese and Chinese culture, and the increased interaction with both of them has given me several layers to my personality, creating who I am now. My exhibition is centered around my experience of growing up outside of my ‘home’ country and explores ideas of "disconnection," between my "home" country and the country I was raised in. Yet, I have encountered several occasions where I felt that I didn't belong to this community or experienced an identity crisis, complicating my perception of identity and cultural connections that essentially makes us who we are. Through these works, I intend for the viewer to consider and confront the various perspectives and values of different individuals regarding the same matter, and how their differences inform each other's understanding to create a better whole, without gaps and disconnection. As viewers walk into the exhibition, they will see that it is separated into three sections by two display boards. In the center, between the two display boards, there is a giant box that stands on itself. This is the piece 360° and just like its title, it allows the viewers to go around and see the change of color and material of the box, highlighting how different identities and personal characteristics are interconnected instead of separated or layered, despite the fact that they seem separated from the outside. Once they get to the other end, they would see how there is a slit between two boards, with the end of the board curling in towards the center, creating a spiral structure, that only allows the viewer to see part of what is inside by peeking through from the open slit. This also symbolizes variety of perspectives and I hope to signify that by viewing the same thing through different perspectives, it's appearance may differ, but its nature would remain unchanged. I am examining how people are usually categorized in different groups and categories, but each person has a unique identity and characteristics that belong to several categories, often too many that its complexities and intricacies make it unsuitable to categorize a person to one group. With the two boards diving the spaces into three, areas on right and left will be considered as “exterior space” while the area in middle will be considered as “interior space”. This difference infers to the idea of disconnection in identity and how a person is judged. On the side of two display boards that are facing the center, there are photography pieces such as Uncertainty and Interference. These pieces focus on the connection of “exterior” and “interior” identities or culture. From the piece Interference, viewers will see there is a light that connects all four photographs, but also notice how there are physical gaps between each photographs. This reflects the seemingly disconnectedness between one's experiences and characteristics from the outside, though as a whole, the photographs are interconnected to display the significance of such aspects in determining one's multifaceted identity from within. On the panels at right and left side, drawing and paintings such as Passenger and Transformation are displayed. These pieces shows a physical disconnection, for instance, in Passenger, one girl is isolated from rest of the passengers, which is further emphasized their posture and details in lines. Transformation portrays a similar concept but with a broader “exterior” issue on the current world. The entire exhibition is arranged with panels and that are about two meters and so the viewers feel quite intimate with the artworks when viewing them. I made all artworks very small and delicate except for 360°, the wooden panel sculpture, to emphasize that my outer layers of personality is what I show to the world, as large scale artworks can be seen and appreciated afar. However, my artworks about my inner thoughts and feelings are made much smaller, so viewers have to come close to see it. To get to know my inner thoughts and feelings a person must be careful and detailed in knowing me, which people don’t often do unless they really choose to get to know me really well.

  • Western Academy of Beijing

    WAB DP Visual Arts (HL) 2020 - Wanzhen (Crystal) Zhou

    "But I don't want comfort. I want God. I want poetry, and I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want to sin." We live in an era of "entertainment to death," just like the World State in Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley. Consumerism, entertainment, and brainwashing education are flooding the brains of modern people. We try to numb the pain of the body to obtain the so-called "happiness." However, have we looked at the other side of our self-righteous utopia? Do we think about what's driving this paralyzing happiness? Living in such an era, I also might be influenced by hedonism and blinded by network information. However, I still try to keep my eyes clear and critical. Therefore, I was driven to present a body of work that explores the dark side of modern society, to warn myself and my audience. The whole exhibition is centered around the topic of "dystopia." For instance, Vegetable Market is about consumer culture, and Imprisonment is about mental issues and pressure. All the selected works are cool in color. Gray, in particular, is widely used in the exhibition, intended to offer a depressed and cold urban atmosphere. Throughout my body of work, there is a constant use of elements of modern cities, such as electronic devices, metals, and buildings. Portraiture is another significant element in my selected artworks, especially for oil paintings, such as Mulan and Monster Behind Her. I intend to explore the negative relationship between people and modern society in my artworks, such as cyber control in The Phone. As the viewers walk into my exhibition, they see the sculpture Imprisonment on the ground at the entrance. The feeling of looking down is meant to encourage the audience to feel the pain and struggle conveyed by the sculpture intensely. Bypassing the sculpture on the ground, symbolizing the misery at the bottom of society, the viewer enters a corridor with all of the painting and photographic pieces. As the viewer walks down the dark, narrow hallway, the audience could feel oppressed and tense. In the dark corridors, viewers see works of art representing the dark side of society. For example, The Phone is about internet control, and Imprisonment is about mental illness, which is the core of the dystopian theme. When visitors arrive at the end of the exhibition, audiences enter a spacious and bright space, and The Egg Installation is placed in the center. This is in contrast to the previous dark atmosphere. The bright space symbolizes the "dystopian" upper class and the ultimate pursuit of people's hearts. At the same time,this seemingly absurd work of art is the ultimate satire on consumerism and cyber control. As mentioned above, color has been used to create an emotional and psychological relationship between the viewer and the artworks. Furthermore, throughout this exhibition, a physical relationship has been developed. Since none of my pieces is particularly large and my work has many details. This invites the viewers to come close to it to look carefully. This creates an intimacy in the narrow hallway. Furthermore, the photo-like paintings hanging in the narrow corridors, such as Monster Behind Her, remind the audience that the dark side of reality is close to us. However, for the Egg Installation, viewers stand in an open space to visit it. A fence keeps the viewer from getting too close to view the seemingly precious object. By creating the distance, viewers realize that the wealth and power of the top 1% are beyond the reach of the average person. The contrast of the use of distance also lets the viewer realize that we might ignore the pain we are experiencing around us and instead pursue the exaggerated "happiness." The whole exhibition is a "T" structure, just like an upside-down city building, it again emphasizes the theme of dystopia. When the audience watches the whole exhibition, I want them to feel the "reversal" of the values of modern society from this particular structure, just like the contrast between the sculpture representing pain at the entrance and the installation representing happiness at the end. Should we focus on "people" or see the "power and wealth" touted by consumerism? Works Cited Aldous Huxley. Brave New World: Ed. Robert Southwick. Essex, Longman, 2002. Chi Lei, Fake Market. 03 Mar.-30 Jun. 2019, G.M. Gallery 798 Art Zone, Beijing

  • Western Academy of Beijing

    WAB DP Visual Arts (HL) 2020 - Sarah Lee

    The exhibition centers around identity. However, the series of works are separated into two sections. The first section explores personal influences whereas the second deals with social influences. The first series is centered around individuality and personalization, more specifically, how one defines themselves. As an introvert, I was initially inspired by the idea of being able to share parts of my identity that I have always kept to myself. Therefore, I was driven to present a body of work that valualed beliefs and issues that are unique one and how someone’s personal issues can stimulate a similar issue of another. The second series, social influences, was inspired by the fact that identity cannot only be centered around by themselves. And instead, it is a combination of the surrounding factors that continues to influence one's identity. I was driven to present a body of work that is neither simply black nor white, but a more complex one that sprouts from experiences from the society. The recurring idea of experiences, challenges and personal growth has been highlighted in the series in chronological order. Artworks in groups of two deals with each of the topics in order; “US” and “Mapping an individual” starts the exhibition by illustrating experiences, “Stressed” and “Desserts” presents challenges and “Flourish” and “Sprout” explores personal growth. Experience is shown with the idea of how past and present experiences create who I am and how it impacts the future. Challenge depicts the situation when I face a challenge and how I deal with the stress. Personal growth is shown by overcoming the challenges and by gaining the insight of one’s true identity. With this order, I wanted to show how these topics are all related to each other in terms of how experiences create challenges and how challenges offer development, which all eventually becomes part of one’s unique identity. Especially throughout the second body of work, the idea of duality is constantly dealt with by exploring the benefits and negatives of social influences. In “Chameleonic identity” adapting to surrounding environments but losing one’s unique color are influences that are both good and bad. “Envied the Ugly duckling” deals with the duality by illustrating the situation of being able to be accepted to a group but being unable to fully express themselves. As the viewer approaches my body of work, I wanted the viewer to become included within the artwork by incorporating their own perspectives. The audience is like a bystander in “Chameleonic identity” as they are simply seeing bottles that on display. However, “Envied the ugly duckling” starts to create a relationship between the subject in the artwork and the audience. The audience are included in the artwork itself since the girl seems like she is reaching out to the audience and showing that this issue is not restricted to an abstract world, but something that could be applicable for anyone anywhere, anytime. I wanted to use personal stories to express how the we all have similar but different stories. We all go through experience, challenges, growth but all these situations are unique to individuals. For people with different experiences, I wanted to show them a situation that they haven’t experienced. For people with similar situations, I wanted to use my artwork to represent their identity. By sharing personal beliefs and issues, an indirect bond that is evoked by sympathy is created between the artist and audience. Whereas in the first series I wanted the audience to acknowledge different situations, in the second series, I wanted the audience to use these understandings to consider various perspectives when viewing my artwork. I wanted them to incorporate personal thoughts when viewing the artwork and to be able to interpret these situations into their personal experiences. The extent to which these influences seems righteous depends on the viewer's perspective when viewing the artwork. It also brings up the dilemma of the influence that effects one's identity.

  • Western Academy of Beijing

    WAB DP Visual Arts (HL) 2020 - Mae Li Cowell

  • Western Academy of Beijing

    WAB DP Visual Arts (HL) 2020 - Jennifer Zeng

    This exhibition has been driven by my love for my grandfather and a deep interest in his experiences as a Chinese national war veteran. A friendly and funny man, my grandfather barely talked about his experiences. Collectively, the body of work investigates the topic of veterans, focusing on veterans’ post-war experiences and their relationships with others. Different approaches were made to present this exploration. The ‘Imagined portrait’ series are works inspired by a veteran’s true story. This series are then followed by a deeper look at what veterans ‘reveal’ vs ‘conceal’ to their loved ones. This can be seen in the ‘Concealed’ series and ‘Blooming sentiments’. The artworks presented were selected because, together, they unpack the post-war life of veterans. Within this big topic, both abstract and concrete approaches were made.‘Imagined portrait’ series are a series of paintings based on a real story about a veteran and his wife. These pieces provide a more tangible depiction about veterans’ post-war life given its narrative features. On the other hand, the ‘Concealed’ series and ‘Blooming sentiments’ focus on the exploration of a rather abstract concept—the revealed vs concealed components in a veteran’s life. Parts of these specific artworks are literally covered up which limits what the viewer can see. Metaphorically, it represents the hidden and fractured memories of the veterans. The arrangement of the artworks reflects my state of mind and growing understandings throughout my process of creating this exhibition. I was inspired to create my first piece, Faded Portrait, about the veteran as a tribute, marking the starting-point of my exploration. As such, this is the first artwork the viewer encounters as they approach the exhibition. After this piece, the viewer encounters ‘Imagined Portrait’ series, which are based on a veteran and his wife’s real story of being parted for decades. ‘Together yet apart’ is followed by ‘Unapproachable’ and ‘Brightness blurred’, portraying the perspective of the wife and the veteran. The two have been placed across from each other symmetrically, as if the couple are in dialogue. As the viewers continue, they come across the new stage of my exploration—the revealed vs concealed aspects of the veterans’ life. It sheds light on how most veterans in Chinese society are forbidden to disclose their experiences or feelings and how many have been intentionally forgotten. This concept explores the tensions between what the veterans reveal to others and what they conceal. The four works are arranged in the order of ‘Hidden memories’, ‘Consciousness’, finally ‘Blooming sentiments’ and ‘Boxed-up eternity’. In the first two, viewers are encouraged to move around to peak through the layers of materials to see hidden drawings that symbolize memories. It then proceeds with ‘Blooming sentiments’ and ‘Boxed- up eternity’ that present the concealed and revealed aspects of the veterans’ daily life. These two artworks are placed on a shelf filled with random objects such as books and decorations. This presentation enables the viewers to feel the post-war memories’ role in veterans’ life— they are dust-laden memories that take up space in their life, but mostly covered up and remained private to others. Throughout this exhibition, there are various ways that the viewer and artworks relate to each other. As the exhibition centers around the veterans’ post-war experience, the body of work itself contains weight of history. The use of colors is limited to low intensity to present a subtle mood and sense of time. Moreover, the works have implicated the viewers in multiple ways. Throughout the exhibition, viewers are playing various roles—the wife, the veteran, and an outsider who walked into the veterans’ consciousness. This is also achieved with the support of scale. In ‘Imagined Portraits’ series, the canvases are in life size to enhance the immersion of the painting, as if it is their actual vision and imagination. In ‘Consciousness’, the viewers are allowed to physically walk into the installation, enabling them to feel like an outsider that walks into the consciousness. Finally, the relationship between the artworks also presents a progression of ideas. As the viewers walk through the exhibition, the artworks they see began with a broad concept, ‘Faded Portrait’, and evolve to pieces that are more personal, deep, and emotionally charged.

  • Western Academy of Beijing

    WAB DP Visual Arts (HL) 2020 - Emma Aellen

    As a third culture kid, I was given a chance to connect and interact with a large variety of different cultures within my life. As a result, I have been exposed to a variety of religions and ideologies that contribute to culture and psychology throughout the world. My work illustrates my curiosity towards this matter and enables me to shape my personal understanding of myself and the people around me through the lens of religion. The central question explored through these artworks revolves around how humanity has built and used religion to its advantage and the impact or effects that have risen from this. My body of work can be interpreted in several ways, with pieces such as Akom and From Ifugao to Immaculate conception being focused on the negative outcomes of colonization and implementation of religion. These pieces were inspired by the work of Felix Nussbaum, most notably by his oil painting Orgelmann1. This piece influenced me to view what the long-term effects and irony of the destruction of culture’s influence was on a country. Other works of mine come to be seen as more neutral and may be interpreted by the audience in whatever way they see fit. As my intentions behind my art making process was to enable myself to consider how I view religion, I found that I’ve come to understand more about the cultural impact of religion and further connected myself to those I’ve had contact with or seen due to traveling. This notion is reflected within my piece Neural pathways which was inspired by Sally Smart. In it, I explore the ways I have developed through life in reference to religions I interact with in my life. Throughout my art making process, I found that I worked in a pattern that was focused around concept of time. In particular, I explored religious concepts and connections through attempting to understand the past, present, future. This has also influenced the arrangement of my work within the exhibition. When you first approach my exhibition, you encounter the past with artworks such as Akom and from Ifugao to immaculate conception. This is followed by artwork such as Sunsum and Kra and Implications 3that represent the present. And finally, Body and soul and Scrolling and focus on the future. After this, comes the artworks that focuses more on my personal journey through understanding religion. Heavily influenced by my travels and people I’ve been in contact with, pieces such as Neural Pathways and Tool of Tools show the strongest religious connections, I’ve made through living in Asia and North America. For artworks that explore the past, I used more traditional “hands-on” media. We can see this in Akom for which I used oil painting. Similarly, I used more digital art forms, such as DSLR photography and Photoshop, for the artworks about the present and connected these mediums to create mixed medias for the future, an example of this is my piece Scrolling in which I use both. When it comes to more personal pieces, I’ve used ink to represent the unpredictable flow of life. These mediums help me build tension within my pieces by connecting the pasts’ influence on present day religion as well as represent my interpretation of it. By depicting the human figure, I hope that the viewer is able to empathize and relate to the artworks by imagining themselves and/or others. This is further emphasized in my later works representing the future as the scale increases to echo a real person. As the audience walks through my exhibition, I want them to feel as though they are going through time, piecing together the ideas that have contributed to my thinking about religion. I want the audience to feel open minded about their personal beliefs and dive into a viewing of religion that is cross cultural.

  • Western Academy of Beijing

    WAB DP Visual Arts (HL) 2020 - Austin Orange

    My body of work is centered around the theme of identity and thus has its foundation in my real-world experiences and thoughts. In the individual pieces,I intendedto createmeaning throughdepictingrelationships present betweenaspects ofidentity. Within the body of work the core themes areculture, spirituality, belonging, and family. These themes are represented throughvarious motifs such asNative American imagery and patterns, landscapes, the moon and the sun, and the presence of a central figure. For example,in “xonóona'e” the river in the landscape and the moon play a key symbolic role inrepresenting time and death.Collectively, all the pieces can be seen as depicting a problem of identity; many of which I do not have the solution for. Instead, I present the problem and the aspects of it for which I do have concrete beliefs onwhile leaving the rest up to the interpretation of the viewer. For example,in“Red and Blue”the depiction of myself wears a “red and blue”, which is a blanket worn by medicine men whorun ceremonies,thisimplies belongingor solidarity with my culture. However, the figure also has blacked out eyes which symbolizes the lack of perception and uncertaintythus presenting conflicting imagery with no concrete stance.Overall, I conceptualize mybody of work as a kind of fever dream of relationshipsand internal struggles which reflect each otherto revealthe overarching conflicts of identity I experience. For my arrangement Iwas given two three-panel boards which ichose to arrange the pieces in a hexagon formation; in which six pieces are placed on the outside panels andtwo are on the opposite wallswithin the hexagon. When I selected the pieces to arrange,I decided to categorize them bytheirdegree ofpersonal significance.Additionally, the artworks were not presented in chronological order because they are primarily intended to be seenas independent works.Thismethod of categorizationresulted in “véhon” and “Red and Blue” being categorized as having higher personal significance, because theyinclude myselfand my father,and thus wereplaced in the center of the arrangement.Whereas,“Veneer”, “The Tail FeatherReflects Poorly in the Light”, “I Must Have Been Hungry; I Ate Everything Up”, “xonóona'e”, and “There’s Pitch All Through, He Looks Like the People He Comes From” wereplaced on the outside of the arrangement because theydepict abstract figures and are thusdeemed tohavelower personal significance. When approaching the arrangement,the viewer will first see the artworks of lower personal significance. When viewingeach artwork,the perspective is forced by the hexagonalarrangement to prevent them from seeing any adjacent artworks in their periphery. As the viewercontinues to revolvearound the circular shape of the exhibitionthis remains the same. Finally, the viewer must walk intothe center of the arrangement to see the last two artworks on opposite walls. When considering the relationshipbetween the artworkand the viewer I wanted the exhibit to feel as though each artwork had its own dialogueon identity, whileat the same time,as the viewer moves through the exhibit and views each piecethe larger themes of family, spirituality, belonging, andculture become apparent as they relate to thelarger context of the body of work. In order for the artworks to have this effect I purposely used imagery with iconic symbolismalongside more ambiguous motifs for the purpose of conveying the basicconcept while also maintaining distinctive imagerythroughout the body of work. For example, in “véhon” the aspect of culture plays a major role in the meaning of the artworkand so I used the symbol of arrowheads to convey the aspect of native American culture alongside Peyote; which is a medicine withinNative American communities.Another choicewhich supports the connectionsdrawn by the vieweris the pattern of each artwork having a main figurewhich the motifs revolve around. For example, in “Veneer” the colors of the city landscape correspond to the main figure’s clothing. This choice aims to demonstrate conceptual similarities within the body of work as almost every artwork follows the same structure.

    latest works

    • Andong Li

      Head (2), 2019-20
    • Andong Li

      Head (1), 2019-20
    • Yvette Kang

      Layers, 2019
    • Yvette Kang

      Hand Studies, 2020
    • Yasmin Franco

      No!, 2020
    • Livia Frank

      Urban Links, 2020
    • Angela Gao

      Clues, 2020
    • Angela Gao

      Deluge, 2020
    • Angela Gao

      Nostalgia, 2020
    • Angela Gao

      Introspection, 2019
    • Angela Gao

      Contact, 2020
    • Angela Gao

      Study of Three Figures with Foliage, 2020
      2D Drawing
    • Chenxi (Takumi) Li

      Transformation, 2020
      2D Oil on Canvas
    • Chenxi (Takumi) Li

      Interference IV, 2020
      photography
    • Chenxi (Takumi) Li

      Interference III, 2020
      photography
    • Chia-Hua (Chloe) Chang

      Back cover, 2020
      mixed media
    • Chia-Hua (Chloe) Chang

      Book cover, 2020
      mixed media
    • Grace Yang

      Chang E, 2020
      mixed media
    • Grace Yang

      Thousands of rivers, 2020
      mixed media
    • Rory Mason

      Push and Pull, 2019
      Digitally scanned negatives through Photoshop
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