Projects in Studio Art: Art in Translation | 2021 Spring

Online Viewing Room

Projects in Studio Art: Art in Translation

May 6th - May 10th, 2021

This exhibition showcases selected artworks from the students in Projects in Studio Art, Spring 2021. 

Projects in Studio Art: Art in Translation is a course for studio artists to create a succinct body of artwork while studying in Shanghai. Students create contemporary artworks, examining both the concepts and techniques of artwork, including ideas in contemporary and traditional art, to translate ideas into reality.

Professors: Barbara Edelstein and Jian-Jun Zhang

Student ArtistsAishya ELYSIA, Rosalie GRUBB, Jiayan LIU, Carol QIU, Amanda TAO, Jacquely ZHANG, Angela ZHENG


Featured Artwork: 

Aishya ELYSIA, Revelation, mixed media.

This sculpture encapsulates the feeling of being inspired. It is the state of complete immersion
to an idea and breaking free of whatever it is that holds you back. The colorful hands covering
the eyes symbolize the person seeing nothing but the beauty and inspiration that surrounds you. It
is about seeing the best of everything and having the guts to break, shatter, and transform.

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Rosalie GRUBB with Sophia ALFRED, Heartbreak-Love is an Addiction, video, performance, mixed media

The piece “Heart Break: Love is an Addiction” captures the craziness one feels when losing
someone they were madly in love with. In the video, a girl struggles with staying sane from
losing her greatest addiction, the love she felt for her partner. Due to her loss, she copes with a
new addiction, cigarettes. This addiction parallels to the dependency she once had. The mask
she wears is a happy front she puts up to conceal her sadness and anger, but underneath she
feels alone, does not resist her new addiction and no longer pretends to be okay because she is
simply, not okay.

Watch Video: https://nyu.app.box.com/s/la9e59rrj3yqsvckp8r7zn270byhwfz3/file/81123805...

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Jiayan LIU with Wenxing TANG, Mask, video, performance

This piece talks about different states of finding one’s balanced position in our society. The
crowds (the society) is created by white hanging masks. The dancer represents the self. The
three scenes: the dancer surrounded with masks, the dancer herself wearing a mask in the
multiple exposure scene with masks on the top layer, and the dancer in the stairwell, shows
three personas respectively: one’s external interactions with the crowds, being trapped by
other people's perceptions, and the inner true self. The interweaving of the three scenes
depicts the struggle of the character due to the inconsistency between her inside and outside.
This whole narrative questions how we are actually behaving in the crowds and how to find
the balance between attachment and detachment of this society: must we wear masks sometimes?
Can we really be true to our hearts?

Watch Video: https://nyu.app.box.com/s/la9e59rrj3yqsvckp8r7zn270byhwfz3/file/81121998...

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Carol QIU, The Gaze, mixed media

Chinese and Western styles, ancient and futuristic techniques are embraced to form diverse
growths of flowers shown on 12 women’s faces. Different mediums, including acrylic paint, pen,
and collage, are applied to create this patterned and abstract artwork. Flowers symbolize the
growth of every beautiful special woman. Various internal and external identity conflicts faced
by young contemporary Chinese women are depicted with both the paintings on their faces and
the colorful cores behind. As the women are gazing at each other, they are overcoming
hardships, culture shocks and identity crisis when staying in a new environment. Studying
internationally challenges us in particular ways, but we are already translating back and forth
between competing worlds at home. Everyone is special and we should not afraid of any gaze.

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Amanda TAO, The Appeal, mixed media

Through this work I wish to develop our skin - our exterior, our “appeal” - as a mask that
conceals how we feel and experience the world emotionally. There is a societal expectation
towards us all to remain strong, impenetrable, and rational, especially in social situations or in
the public, so we all live in this mask even though we recognize that it is unnatural.
In the painting, I constructed two “skins”: the first that is three dimensional and of natural skin
tone, and the second that is two dimensional and of a blue and pink color scheme, almost
appearing otherworldly. The first skin represents the outward “appeal” of an individual of
which the facial expression appears to be composed and controlled. The second skin symbolizes
the “self”, where one might not be always stable and rational, illustrated by the troubled facial
expression and defensive body gesture. Adopting washing as a symbol of spiritual cleansing, but
also inferring to the restrictions put upon humans underwater physiologically, I wish to depict a
scene where one’s outward pretense is cast off at this most private moment.
I established three sets of juxtaposition to illuminate my message. The first contrast lies in the
color temperature, through which I wish to better distinguish between the two identities. As
the “appeal” appears human and the “self” appears alien, I also raise the question if we have
completely suffocated and masked our emotional “selves” with our “appeal”. The second
contrast is of the style of painting; the “appeal”, on top of being of skin tone, is of a smoother
and more realistic finish, whereas the brush strokes on the “self” are unblended, hence making
it seem raw and blemished. The third contrast is in the gaze of the two faces, where the mask
remains in a passive and submissive state but the eyes of the “self” directly interacts with the
audience, almost in a confrontational way to evoke emotions.

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Jacquelyn ZHANG, Caged Bird, video, performance, mixed media

Through this work I wish to develop our skin - our exterior, our “appeal” - as a mask that
conceals how we feel and experience the world emotionally. There is a societal expectation
towards us all to remain strong, impenetrable, and rational, especially in social situations or in
the public, so we all live in this mask even though we recognize that it is unnatural.
In the painting, I constructed two “skins”: the first that is three dimensional and of natural skin
tone, and the second that is two dimensional and of a blue and pink color scheme, almost
appearing otherworldly. The first skin represents the outward “appeal” of an individual of
which the facial expression appears to be composed and controlled. The second skin symbolizes
the “self”, where one might not be always stable and rational, illustrated by the troubled facial
expression and defensive body gesture. Adopting washing as a symbol of spiritual cleansing, but
also inferring to the restrictions put upon humans underwater physiologically, I wish to depict a
scene where one’s outward pretense is cast off at this most private moment.
I established three sets of juxtaposition to illuminate my message. The first contrast lies in the
color temperature, through which I wish to better distinguish between the two identities. As
the “appeal” appears human and the “self” appears alien, I also raise the question if we have
completely suffocated and masked our emotional “selves” with our “appeal”. The second
contrast is of the style of painting; the “appeal”, on top of being of skin tone, is of a smoother
and more realistic finish, whereas the brush strokes on the “self” are unblended, hence making
it seem raw and blemished. The third contrast is in the gaze of the two faces, where the mask
remains in a passive and submissive state but the eyes of the “self” directly interacts with the
audience, almost in a confrontational way to evoke emotions.

Watch Video: https://nyu.app.box.com/s/la9e59rrj3yqsvckp8r7zn270byhwfz3/file/81122837...

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Angela ZHENG, Metamorphosis, gif

Who are you in the early hours of the morning? Who have you become by the time you step
out the door? From the outfits we choose, the makeup we wear, the jewelry we put on, each of
these aspects reflects what we want to impress upon others when we interact in society. These
curated personas ebb and flow depending on the various environments we may find ourselves
in, but they ultimately share one constant – eventually, they must be shed.
“Metamorphosis” examines this nonlinear transformation shared in human nature

Gif: https://nyu.app.box.com/s/la9e59rrj3yqsvckp8r7zn270byhwfz3/file/81121829...

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Aishya ELYSIA, Her in Color, mixed media

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Rosalie GRUBB, Stare, mixed media

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Jiayan LIU, Eyes, mixed media

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Carol Qiu, Two Different Me, mixed media

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Amanda TAO, Portrait in Charcoal and Ink, mixed media

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Jacquelyn ZHANG, Self Portrait, mixed media  

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Angela ZHENG, Greyscale, ink on paper


Exhibition View: 

Projects in Studio Art: Art in Translation. Exhibition view. Photo credit: Chang LIU.