Impression of graduation project by Yunwei Zhang
Impression of graduation project by Yunwei Zhang

Yunwei Zhang

Yunwei Zhang

As an artist with 4 years art training in a Chinese art education institution and 5 years art education in the Netherlands, my artistic practice focuses on the installation in a spatial particularity with the convergent perspectives of west and east and to translate historical heritage and collective memory into contemporary artwork by using personal materials that I collected in daily life.

I mainly want to elicit an insight through my artworks that whether they could lead different people into the same spatial experience with the synergistic reaction of the different senses. I think, There is a certain regular pattern for our experience to follow in the artistic space in which the immersive experience influences people's feelings at an aesthetic level.

From my own perspective and my personal artistic practice in the Netherlands, my works also indicate how complicated it is that for young women artist with oriental cultural backgrounds to face and cope with the cultural differences between the east and west, however, I still want to make a personal effort to achieve an intellectual intercultural understanding between them.

In this special period of the epidemic, so many people suffer from diseases and have no chance to receive proper treatment with respect. To face such a quandary reality, what art can do? What is art's function in the real world? Maybe, the value of art is not in the realistic imitation of the world with great skills, but its spiritual enlightenment in this sophisticated world. It can penetrate the false black hole of reality and reveal the original essence of things, that is, the authenticity of existence. But at the same time, art has become a curtain of the world. In other words, it has been disguised as a curtain of ignorance. What I want to explicate is the usage of art as a medium to convey information, just like modern media. Although Its function unavoidably has double-sidedness. It can discover some facts while hiding some truth. So, for me, art is more like a beautiful utopia consistently hitting the cruel reality with great courage .

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​All in all, art allows us to see different aspects of the world that we have never seen before, let us feel emotions that we have never felt before, and see the beauty that we have never seen before. It creates a fantastical life for us and let us all live in that bubble.

Graduation Project
Sunlight marks the kiss of the dragonfly for giving life back to the people who lost their lives during the epidemic.

There was a ruler in the corner of the studio. I want to know whether the time scale could measure the thickness of life? This is an unanswered question. What I have observed is that every day the sunlight casting into the corners of the studio with different obliquity, forming a  strong angle and making a contrast with the shadow of the floor.

At 9 a.m., the light and the shadow on the wall start to move silently, they move 60 cm every hour, and at 11:30, the sunlight slowly tightens itself, leaving only a thin slit until it completely disappears. Before that, all the tiny things protrude their heads, waiting for the moment when the sunshine lights them up, the only big moment for the sunshine to shines them up.

When I "finished" this work, I still let it stay in the same space for a while. In order to give me a time to look at it quietly and simply, like observing things in nature. Then, I am waiting for the moment of what will happen to it, or what will happen to me. We were referring to each other and looking at each other as a mirror reflection, In this way, we were getting the chance to re-known each other again.

In the end, I ask myself countless times, what art can do during the coronavirus crisis, The answer I get from this work is that art can help us to remember disasters, and remember the people in disasters.

Sail the shell and return to the spiritual home

This thesis mainly discusses space, spirit, and the relationship between space and spirit from different aspects, from the analysis of religious places, psychological space, poetic space shaped by language, the materialization of space as a physical substance of sculpture, cyberspace. attending to the discussion of different senses brought about by the alienation of space. Taking some artists as examples, I combined then with my own personal art practice and try to organize a clear logical road map of the conceptual spaces in these areas, and connected the different topic areas along the bridges built by artistic research.

By consulting some referenced books, and myths and folktale I borrowing from the East and the West tradition culture, to expose these discussions maybe show the differences between Eastern and Western cultures and seeking for a profound mutual understanding.

I hope to bring more perspectives through this thesis to help myself and readers to understand these cultural phenomena, and understand more to the culture of art from the East and the West with objective neutrality and without any political affection. This paper also took me a lot of time to consult various Chinese and English books to find the logical connection between them.