This project was inspired by the film Farewell My Concubine, a film that particularly reflects the influence of history and war on Chinese art and the impermanence of life, so the theme of my work is impermanence, also known as the philosophical problem of change, Chinese culture is also deeply influenced by this concept and Buddhism, so I want to reflect impermanence through the experience of Chinese cultural relics.
I researched the history and found that Chinese artefacts have been lost over half a century as China has gone through wars and many crafts and medical techniques have been lost, these artefacts have been smashed and burnt and sent around the world. I wanted to recreate what happened to them to show the immensity of the changes and disasters brought by history, as a way of showing the impermanent view of life.
I delved into the history of Chinese traditional crafts and jewelry, and made an interesting and peculiar discovery. Nowadays, most Chinese people opt to wear Western-style wedding clothes with diamond rings, and forgot the traditional red wedding dress that has been a symbol of engagement in Chinese culture for thousands years.As it turns out, the tradition comes from Catholicism, which most Chinese people do not have such religious beliefs. Furthermore, white is actually a color commonly associated with funerals in Chinese culture, yet they continue to view the dress as a beautiful garment and a symbol of modern marriage. I support multiculturalism, but when 90% of the Chinese population blindly follows foreign cultural practices, it becomes a cause for concern.
I soon discovered that this phenomenon is prevalent around the world. Even in Western countries, Many people are unaware of the reason behind wearing a wedding dress. The white wedding dress traditionally symbolizes purity in Catholicism, which clashes with modern societal values and personal beliefs. Moreover, there are other social phenomena that share a similar situation, such as the pursuit of diamond rings, and the obsessive use of social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, which hinder independent thinking, subjective awareness, and cultural identity.
Therefore, I make a series of pieces that utilize traditional Chinese elements and techniques to create modern items. These pieces will be created using blue and white porcelain, Diancui and jade carving respectively, and will highlight the contrast between the past and present.