Mingfei Guo is a textile artist who began working on the concept of the cycle of life during her MA. She felt sad due to the loss of her relatives. She focused on the material wood and continued to experiment with other techniques to express her emotions. Mingfei loves to paint which allowed her to weave her emotions further into the objects.
My work is concerned with my family. My initial project focused on the rebirth of the human soul. This has lead her to explore basketry weaving. This was my first study of wood and by the second unit I was more concerned with the bardo state of the human soul. This state is a process of energy transformation and at the same time has some images of what happens before reincarnation. So I started to make a deeper link between the Bardo state and wood, and I created a Bardo cycle with images of wood. During the final stages of the project, I started reflect what made me focus on the cycle of death – my family, my dead grandparents. I started exploring stories of my father. My grandmother was a great believer in Buddhism. She rebuilt a temple on a hill on her own. My grandfather, who was orphaned as a child, learned to knit and supported my father. My father and mother continue to be the guardians of the temple. And I believe that in the future, after the death of my parents, I will continue to be the guardian of the temple and will carry on my family's will for the temple.
Directly opposite the temple, there is a tree with red threads tied to it, made by the people of the village to honour the souls of the departed. My father used to tie my grandparents to the tree with red string. I believe that my grandparents always watch over the temple – their souls never left, and that I will also possess the tree and become a big tree after I die.
This project led me to create different forms of the tree. I believe the bloodline inheritance between the family caused me to think about people and the cycle of life, and to look at the attitude of death from a new perspective.