To celebrate Camberwell College of Arts Postgraduate Summer Show 2014 this week and until the 23rd July, we’ve met with students and graduates to talk about their work and future plans.
MA Visual Arts Book Arts Jingyun Shu invites audiences to understand the Chinese language system and reproduce their own words
CCA: How has your experience at Camberwell been like?
JS: It’s being significant for my career and my future, it has opened my eyes to explore the relationship between my artworks and my interests in the area of Fine Arts, more clearly and deeply. What I want to focus on is the field of Visual Arts. The course has completely opened up a new world of arts to me, not only the knowledge I learnt during the course but also how I showcase and market my work.
CCA: What did you find was the most valuable technical skill you learnt whilst studying at the College?
JS: I have been using laser-cutting machine for most of my work this year, which is my favourite technique. I worked with it before during my BA course; however, I had never worked with the machine by myself. It was a superb opportunity for me to test everything I am interested in and learn a new technical skill.
CCA: Please tell us about your work
JS: The series of artworks that I have made during this year are about creating personal Chinese characters based on the Five Phases from Taoism, which centres on 3 principles: participatory, interacting and intercommunication. These ideas are about inviting audiences to understand the Chinese language system and reproduce their own words.
I am interested in making personal Chinese words for telling stories. In Chinese language, it is common to combine the meaning of prefixes and suffixes together to create a story, which in a way is similar as the format of English language. According to the Wu Xing theory, the property of Chinese words could be separated not only as Yin and Yang parts, but also as Five Elements. The decisive factor is the definition of prefixes rather than the meanings of the characters as a whole.
CCA: What will you be showcasing in your degree show?
JS: I am interested in analysing the Chinese language system and exploring its relationship with the English language, because it appears to be full of mysteries for Westerners. For my final show, I made two Chinese language games, my piece is titled: Creating, Translating and Conversing. Both games are suitable for any ages.
Game one aims to explore the shape of Chinese words, which is presented by cutting wood frames in correspondence to the changes of word forms. It includes one box of ‘translating’ cards, around 80 script frames and two game playing cases. The viewers are encouraged to choose scripts frames and put them on the playing case to get a new word formed by their shadow under the light. The new word’s meaning needs to be mixed with the translation of each frame in the cards’ box.
Game Two contains one Chinese calligraphy dictionary book, one game playing case and one box of Chinese prefixes and suffixes of ‘Five Elements’. The idea of the work is to invite audiences to layout Chinese prefixes and suffixes to obtain a unique word from the Chinese language system. All the samples scripts I made in the dictionary are to show my perspectives of communication in languages’ making.
CCA: What are your plans after you graduate?
JS: I want to become a window designer for my future career goal after I graduate. I will also continue this project to make a secret Chinese words dictionary in 3D, in order to tell my own thoughts about the Five Elements theory.