Slip Cast Porcelain
The story begins from a lunch in, what’s perhaps the most authentic Japanese restaurant in town, at least according to my Japanese friend I was with. On their menu, dishes were divided into appetizers, mains, noodles, shashimis, etc,... traditional rolls, and lastly, creative rolls.
“Creative Rolls?” I pointed at it, smirking uncontrollably to my friend.
Under the title lists items such as Californian Rolls, Philadelphian Rolls and Rainbow Rolls.
“Yes.” friend deadpanned, “American creations, we don’t get things like this back home.”
I nodded and added in, “Just like General Tsao Chicken.”
Yet it’s Californian Rolls we ate that day, because we are what we eat, and what suits ABC/ABJs better than Americanized fusion foods? Nonetheless this incident got me interested in the nature of fusion foods, and upon further researches into the history of Sushi in USA, I knew that I have to tell the story of it via the ‘vessel’ of dinnerware design.
This vessel is designed to specifically hold Americanized/Fusion Sushi, such as the California Roll, Rainbow Roll, etc. Its form makes references to both the traditional Japanese Sushi Boat, as well as the American-Japanese historical incident of 1853’s Matthew Perry Blackship Expedition (aka ‘Kurofune Raikou’).
Through design storytelling, Blackship invites the users to enjoy, and contemplate the history and culture behind the one food that they now learned to embrace.
3d printed prototype with walnut wood stand.
Egg holder design, inspired by champagne flutes.
Oak, Padauk, Light Bulb, Acrylic, LED, Inductive Power Transfer
This light fixture duo set is designed in response to my overdue homesickness. Other than the rather straight forward form, I also tried to incorporate the physical action and emotional impact of homecoming, with the switch mechanism of the lights themselves.
The tall house piece, titled “Home is where the road leads”, has a simple pull-string switch in the form of a ladder.
The smaller house + caddy, titled “Home is where the heart lies”, has a more complicated switch mechanism of inductive power transfer. Also shaped as a caddy, this design will be ideally suited in the entrance way to welcome you home with a soft warm light as you put away your keys.
Kiln Cast Glass
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has a year long advanced studio class called “Whatnot”, in which students are prompt- ed to develop a product as per the main theme, and bring them to life in collaboration with industry professionals. The 2017 Whatnot studio, partnering with the renowned artisanal foundry, asks its students to respond, challenge, and play with the element of light as it reacts with the two material glass and/or bronze.
As a continuation from my interest in culture and cuisine, I developed a casted solid glass bowl based on Chinese dining traditions, while playing with different levels of transparency, hoping to capture the phantasmic nature of traditions, how ethereal, ghostly tradition can be, yet also how deeply ingrained it haunts you.
Designed in consideration of contemporary fine dinning plating trends, this vessel can serve finger food/appetizers within the concavity of the spoon.
The whatnot x West Supply Collection was exhibited in Milan during Design Week 2017 at Spazio Rossana Orlandi Gallery.
Mirrored acrylic, walnut wood.
This card holder set is inspired by the progression of shapes, curves, colors and shines of waxing/waning moons.
Half Scale prototype, oak, plywood and fabric (suede, fleece and knit)
Playful children bed end bench design, slots can be used as both stools/desk and storage. Encourages children to 'sort' things out them-selves by incorporating the learning process with playing.
Magnetized Series #1
Neon, Acrylic, Electronic Transformer, Postcard
The first work in the Fridge Magnet series, inspired by the artist's personal collection of fridge magnets (and other paraphernalia), that are representative of clique words, ideas, visuals. As those symbols have been copied over and over again, distant from their original context (i.e. on the artist's fridge) and meaning, the artist in turn turn them back into signs.
This particular piece is directly based off the tablet that hung in the Qianqing Palace in the forbidden city. The Chinese character's literal translation being 'to be decent, honest and magnanimous', and is a popular saying in Chinese idioms. The tablet itself, however is also a symbol of power, since the Qing dynasty emperors have the tradition of hiding their will of succession behind the tablet.
During the exhibition of this piece, the artist hid a postcard of the Qianqing Palace that she sent to herself from Beijing behind the neon sign. (See Magnetized Series Exhibit A)
Magnetized Series #3
Neon, Wood, Electronic Transformer, Fridge Magnet
The artist saw Kensett's painting 'Lake George' on a postcard and was at once captivated by the tranquility and dreamlike atmosphere of this Luminism masterpiece.
By reducing the picture into neon, the artist wishes to convey a similar (but also slightly different, slightly campy, like a post card from a friend) feeling to the audiences.
Magnetized Series #2
Neon, Wood, Stickers, Electronic Transformer
The second work in the Fridge Magnet series, inspired by the artist's personal collection of fridge magnets (and other paraphernalia), that are representative of clique words, ideas, visuals. As those symbols have been copied over and over again, distant from their original context (i.e. on the artist's fridge) and meaning, the artist in turn turn them back into signs.
This particular piece is directly based off Michael Hoffman-a local Chicago artist's- project; the little silver sticker can be seen particularly everywhere around the city, and of course, on the artists' fridge.
Magnetized Series Exhibit A
Fridge Magnets, Postcards
This art series had its inception from my fridge magnet collection, gathered from my travels. Some are renowned historical artifacts, some famous paintings, some the royal plaque in the forbidden city, and some are graffiti stickers you see at any corner. As those symbols have been copied over and over again, distant from their original context (i.e. on my fridge fridge) and meaning, I here in turn turn them back into signs - but neon signs, the medium that’s not forever inseparable from consumerist implications.
Here are the fridge magnets that inspired the existing works in the series.
Neon, Wood, Electronic Transformer, Acrylic, Vinyl, Incandescent light bulb, Channel Light Box
Directly quoting the famous line from Percy Shelley’s 1977 masterpiece ‘Ozymandias’, this light piece refreshes the impossible struggle of civilization/human ego versus time, with a modern aesthetic of capitalist consumerism, which till now, seems like the end of history. But is it?
Featured in the 2017 SAIC Spring BFA Graduation Show, Sullivan Gallery, Chicago.
Neon, Acrylic, Electronic Transformer, Standoffs
This light fixture design is a playful visual pun on the light bulb itself, bringing our day-to-day light sources back to its very first beginning.
Neon, Acrylic, Electronic Transformer, Wood
Sentiments of the overdue homesickness. But as a multinational citizen with certain cross-cultural experiences, I found it hard to pinpoint exactly where ‘home’ is. At least the ways back are always the same.
Neon, Electronic Transformer
A rather forward visual pun, made as my very first complete neon artwork, therefore not surprisingly, the light malfunctioned and broke during its first exhibition. Not intended, but expected and welcomed, as this incident completes the work’s self prophecy.
A second version is made in 2018.
Neon, Acrylic, Electronic Transformer
This neon practice piece was done in celebration of the Chinese New Year, literally meaning “fortune”, is a common entrance piece deco for Chinese homes. In retrospection, this work is also a precursor which first got me interested in bending Chinese characters, and later inspired me to develop the ‘Magnetized’ series.
Neon, Acrylic, Plywood, Electronic Transformers, Arduinos, Electromechanical Relays
LuXun wrote about a pedantic literati name Kong of the feudal China in his short story “Kong Yiji”, in which the literati takes pride from knowing trivias such as the four different archaic ways to write the character “回”(return).
When written at his time, Kong was widely regarded as a failure and a victom of the feudal China’s ideologies and system. However in light the general Chinese‘s shift back into a more traditional- ist/nationalist thinking recently, some took a more sympathetic view towards Kong.
The ‘Return’ returns, cycling through the Chi- nese history, like a curse.
Typography Design Practice.
This series of work is made in response the international mail art project MAP (organized by Thai artist Patcharida Smittenet) ’s open callings, acknowledging the respective theme of both issues.
The first edition's theme is ‘Recovery’. In the same fashion of the last work I made for this project, I redid the bandaid in a pixel art/8-bit game style, with the wish that recovery can be as simple as healing health in games.
The second edition's theme being ‘Present’. Trying to bridge upon similarities between the Chinese and Thai culture, and to make a sincere offering in good will, I rewrapped the all time favourite candy of pan asia with a pixelated custom print, also reminiscing the 8-bit games we all played as a child.
A sign is never just a sign, its semiotic importance is situational and ever-changing. And when such sign is bent with heated glass tubes, pumped full of gas then charged electronically, its levels of complexity increases tenfold. It is now a neon sign, bright and colourful and attention grabbing, with a new layer of physicality and furthermore contextual significances.
My work is a series of retrospections on established text and signs done in neon. To me, neon signs are inseparable from its cultural background of advertisement and consumerism; and since its decline of popularity (due to technological advances), neon signs are further imbued with a sense of nostalgia, ephemerality and fragility. In my works, I recycle the typical visual of commercial neon signs, use its various sentiments to formulate my own commentaries on certain texts/signs. Of course, as I decontextualize and recontextualize those texts/signs, I also welcome everyone to interpret them differently.