Xueyuan Lyu was born in China. She is an artist who combines traditional metalwork with innovative materials and specialises in various traditional techniques such as lost wax casting, hand-carved wax, enamelling and gelatin printmaking. After graduating with honours from the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute (Chongqing) with a degree in Arts and Crafts (Jewellery), she went on to study for a two-year MA in Jewellery & Metal at the Royal College of Art. Her themes are strongly rooted in Eastern cultural contexts and, when combined with the artist's Western study experience, often become reflections on current social issues.
I have a strong interest in symbols and cultures with mystical symbolism. Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated by the fantastical creatures and new worldviews depicted in mythology and science fiction. I often wondered: did those winged dragons, human-faced beasts and nine-headed lions really exist? Did each different choice under the same moment really give rise to a new parallel time and space? In these fantastic stories, nature is always the observer of the story with an unchanging image and role. At the same time, the mysterious natural laws of nature seem inextricably linked to the human world. By observing the characteristics of life in nature, I take a romantic and emotional perspective on human society and life.
This group of works focuses on the question of the reincarnation of life. I, as the creator, have reconstructed a new view of the reincarnation of life, relying on the religious concepts of Buddhism and Taoism. The seed of the human soul is eternal and unchanging. When a human being passes away and his or her body disappears, this one soul seed will then choose a new body in which to be reborn. The friends and relatives of these deceased people can imagine which body of the deceased person will come back into the world in the form of a human, a plant or an animal. As they remember their deceased loved ones and friends, they light their chosen candle body and the unchanging soul seed is revealed. This soul seed can be worn close to the body as part of the necklace, just as their loved ones and friends are still with them.