Blackdot Gallery Artist Interviews LDF23

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GENE CHEN, HAOTIAN DONG & DEXIN(Leah) CHEN, JACK LEE, JILL LIN, LINDSAY YIN, LINYE PAN, MUDAI, SEVEN, XUANBO CAO, YI JIUN HUNG, YILING WU, YIWEN ZHANG

BLACKDOT GALLERY ARTIST INTERVIEWS



ABOUT BLACKDOT GALLERY

Blackdot Gallery stands as a thriving hub committed to supporting emerging talents and independent designers. Our dedicated mission is to provide an empowering platform that propels these creatives towards wider recognition, allowing their brilliance to shine in the artistic sphere. We go beyond traditional gallery norms, cultivating an environment where innovation merges with tradition, and diverse artistic expressions come together seamlessly. With an unwavering commitment to nurturing budding talents, Blackdot Gallery fosters a thriving community of artists, designers, and enthusiasts, promoting collaborative growth. Guided by the belief in the limitless potential of artistic exploration, we aim to ignite conversations that fuel the spark of imagination and creativity. Our overarching goal is to reshape the art and design landscape, making it accessible to all and acting as a catalyst for the evolution of fresh perspectives and inspiration.

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LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL 2023 SPECIAL EDITION


Blackdot Gallery www.blackdotgallery.com info blackdotgallery.com Copyright Blackdot Gallery 2023 ISSN 2977-4012

All rights reserved. Except for the purposes of review or criticism, no part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form by electronic or mechanical means, including photocopying, recording and information storage or retrieval, without permission in writing from the publisher. First published in London 2023 Printed and bound in London


CONTENTS

GENE CHEN

10 - 31

HAOTIAN DONG & DEXIN(LEAH) CHEN

32 - 55

JACK LEE

56 - 71

JILL LIN

72 - 89


CONTENTS

LINDSAY YIN

90 - 103

LINYE PAN

104- 117

MUDAI

118 - 131

SEVEN

132 - 143


CONTENTS

XUANBO CAO

144 - 157

YI JIUN HUNG

158 - 169

YILING WU

170 - 185

YIWEN ZHANG

186 - 203



GENE CHEN CAPTURING THE ESSENCE OF TIME AND SPACE: A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE ON Urban Landscapes. EXPLORE THE INNOVATIVE photography OF GENE CHEN, CHALLENGING NOTIONS OF TIME, SPACE, AND "Organised Chaos" IN TAIPEI'S STREETS.


ARTIST STATEMENT

To summarise my practice in one sentence, "Archiving the flow of time and space" would be the most appropriate. I graduated from the Royal College of Art's Visual Communication program in 2017, since when I have been always trying to preserve reality by capturing moments in time, forging a profound connection between the present and the past. While initially honing my technical skills, my focus gradually expanded to explore the intricate web of human connections and individual identity at a micro level. As I delved deeper, my gaze shifted toward the urban environment, society, and culture, recognising how these elements shape our values, behaviours, and ways of life. I began documenting cities and streets, and soon realised that true inspiration lay in the raw power of these preserved instants. The unique nature of the techniques compelled me to ponder the definition of the "present." Is it an instantaneous moment, a point in time, or a multidimensional expanse? For me, capturing the present surpasses the act of freezing a solitary moment through the lens of a camera. It entails documenting the essence of a specific period within a defined space. It is within these glimpses of time and place that profound narratives unfold. I aim to challenge established notions of time and space, inviting viewers to explore a new dimension of engagement and perception.

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ARTWORK STATEMENT

If I were to encapsulate Taipei's streets in a single phrase, it would be 'organized chaos.' The scenery may appear disordered, yet people adhere to order, creating an intriguing collision.

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I grew up in Taipei and have been living in London for eight years. Being away from home for such a long time, I've noticed that my impression of Taipei has become more refined. I've retained only what I consider the most distinctive aspects of Taipei, which is its "Organised Chaos". This element also highlights the contrast between Taipei and London. Whenever I return to Taiwan, I capture images that showcase the unique quality of "Organised Chaos" on the streets. Over time, these images have become the materials through which I reconstruct memories of Taipei while in London. I prefer utilizing photogrammetry in my photography because these techniques allow me to archive a small segment of time and space. When reviewing these records, I search for slices that hold an emotional connection within these compressed existences. Gradually, these slices help me construct my impression of Taipei as a wanderer. Like any major city, Taipei is a fusion of modern architecture and aged apartments, contemporary and historical cultures entwined. In every corner of this city, you can perceive the varying pace at which time flows—the dazzling lights of bustling thoroughfares, weathered metallic structures, ancient Taoist temples, sleekly adorned department stores, Japanese-influenced cuisine, and the lively traditional street food and stir-fry eateries. From my collection of records compiled during my time in Taiwan, I have curated ten photographs for this series, preserving glimpses of life in Taiwan.










WHAT, THEN, IS TH of the "present"? IS IT INSTANTANEOUS M POINT IN THE VAST TIME, OR PERHAPS multidimensional e PRESS THE SHUTTER DO I MANAGE


HE PRECISE definition T A FLEETING AND MOMENT, A SINGLE T CONTINUUM OF S A MULTIFACETED, expanse? AND, AS I R, WHAT PRECISELY to encapsulate?


ARTIST INTERVIEW (BDG) - BLACKDOT GALLERY (GC) - GENE CHEN

(BDG) Your practice revolves around "archiving the flow of time and space." Could you delve into how you approach this concept through your art and what drives your fascination with preserving moments in time? (GC)

Archiving the Flow of Time and Space - My artistic approach revolves around employing special digital techniques to capture moments in time and space. This technique allows me to encapsulate not just isolated moments but the various dimensions of the present, effectively bridging the gap between the past and the present. My fascination with preserving these moments lies in the belief that they hold profound narratives about our world, showcasing the intricate tapestry of human experiences, connections, and the evolution of urban environments. It's about more than just freezing moments, it's about preserving the essence of a specific period within a defined space.

(BDG) Your journey began with honing technical skills but evolved to explore human connections, individual identity, and urban environments. How has this transition shaped your perspective on the power of documenting moments, and what have you discovered about the narratives they hold? (GC)

Evolution of My Journey - While my artistic journey began with a focus on refining my technical skills, it gradually evolved into a deeper exploration of human connections, individual identity, and urban landscapes. This transition profoundly shaped my perspective on the power of documenting moments. I've come to realize that these moments aren't just static images but dynamic narratives that offer insights into society, culture, and individual experiences. They serve as windows into the complexity of our world and how it evolves over time.

(BDG) In your exploration of the present, you seek to capture not just moments but the essence of specific periods within defined spaces. How do you bridge the gap between the instantaneous and the multidimensional in your photography? (GC)

Balancing the Instantaneous and Multidimensional - The challenge of bridging the gap between the instantaneous and the multidimensional in my photography is at the core of my creative

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process. Through special digital techniques, I capture a slice of time and space, preserving the essence of a specific period within a defined location. It's about going beyond capturing a single, fleeting moment and instead creating a multi-layered representation of the present. This approach allows me to offer viewers a richer, more immersive experience that transcends traditional photography. (BDG) Your work challenges conventional notions of time and space. Can you explain how you accomplish this through your art and what you hope viewers will gain from this unique perspective? (GC)

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Challenging Conventional Notions - By employing special digital techniques in my art, I aim to challenge conventional notions of time and space. These techniques enable me to capture the essence of specific periods and places in innovative ways. I hope viewers will gain a new perspective on the fluidity of our experiences. They will see that time and space are not fixed but dynamic, and this realization can lead to a deeper understanding of our world and our place within it.

(BDG) Growing up in Taipei and residing in London, your photography has focused on the streets of Taipei. Could you describe what makes Taipei's urban landscapes unique and why you find them intriguing to document? (GC)

Unique Aspects of Taipei's Urban Landscapes - Taipei's urban landscapes hold a unique charm that continually draws me back. What makes them intriguing to document is the concept of "organised chaos." While the scenes may appear chaotic at first glance, there is an underlying order and harmony that define the city's character. This contrast between apparent disorder and actual organization is what I find captivating and worthy of preservation through my art.

(BDG) Your description of Taipei's streets as 'organised chaos' is captivating. Can you elaborate on how you capture this sense of ordered disorder in your photography and what it reveals about the city's character? (GC)

Capturing "Organised Chaos" - To capture the essence of "organised chaos" in Taipei's streets, I focus on selecting specific details and moments that highlight the interplay between disorder and order. It's about showcasing how people adhere to an unwritten set of rules within the seemingly chaotic urban environment. Through my photography, I aim to reveal the city's character and the unique dynamics that define it.

(BDG) In your selection of eight photographs for this exhibition, what criteria guided your choices, and what stories or themes do these particular images convey?


(GC)

Selection of Photographs for the Exhibition - The selection of the eight photographs for this exhibition was guided by their ability to convey the unique quality of "organised chaos" in Taipei's streets. Each image tells a story of how order and disorder coexist in the urban landscape. Collectively, these images create a narrative that sheds light on the intricate balance that characterizes the city's streets.

(BDG) Could you share some insights into your creative process when documenting urban environments and streets? How do you balance the technical aspects of photography with your artistic vision? (GC)

Creative Process - My creative process when documenting urban environments and streets involves a delicate balance between the technical aspects of photography and my artistic vision. Employing special digital techniques, I capture moments in time that resonate emotionally with me. It's about finding that sweet spot where technique and emotion converge to create compelling visual narratives.

(BDG) The notion of capturing moments in time raises questions about the passage of time itself. How do you navigate the temporal aspect of your work, and what does it reveal about the fluidity of our experiences? (GC)

Navigating the Temporal Aspect - Navigating the temporal aspect of my work is a central theme. I capture moments in time that offer glimpses into the fluidity of our experiences. My photography goes beyond merely freezing moments; it delves into the essence of specific periods, allowing viewers to reflect on the passage of time and how it shapes our lives.

(BDG) As an artist who bridges the gap between different cultures and cities, how has this duality influenced your artistic perspective, and do you see any recurring themes or contrasts in your work as a result? (GC)

Influences of Duality - My experience of living in both Taipei and London has profoundly influenced my artistic perspective. This duality has allowed me to view different cultures and cities through a unique lens. While there are recurring themes and contrasts in my work, they represent the intersections and connections between these two worlds, offering viewers a rich tapestry of cultural diversity and urban life.

(BDG) Your focus on human connections and urban spaces suggests a profound engagement with the human experience. How do you hope your viewers will connect with and interpret the narratives embedded in your photographs? (GC)

Connecting with Viewers - Through my focus on human connections, individual identity, and urban spaces, I aim to create

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a profound engagement with the human experience. I hope that viewers will connect with and interpret the narratives embedded in my photographs by exploring the intricate web of emotions, connections, and stories within each image. It's about inviting viewers to see the world through my eyes and feel the emotions that I experienced while capturing these moments. (BDG) Looking ahead, what themes or directions are you considering for your artistic practice, and how do you envision your work evolving to continue archiving the flow of time and space in new and innovative ways? (GC)

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Future Directions - Looking ahead, I envision my artistic practice continuing to evolve as I explore new themes and directions. I will seek innovative ways to archive the flow of time and space, pushing the boundaries of conventional photography and challenging our perceptions. My aim is to keep surprising and engaging viewers, offering fresh perspectives on the everchanging world around us.



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HAOTIAN DONG

& DEXIN(LEAH) CHEN

JOURNEY THROUGH THE ART-SCIENCE FUSION OF HAOTIAN DONG AND DEXIN (LEAH) CHEN'S "Temptastic". CT brain scans TRANSFORMED INTO FONTS REVEAL THEIR CREATIVE-SCIENCE BALANCE IN AN INSIGHTFUL typographic EXPLORATION.


ARTIST STATEMENT

Haotian Dong is an award winning multidisciplinary designer based in NYC. His expertise lies in crafting visual systems and applications that cover various areas, including Brand Identities, Editorial Content, Metalsmith, Typography, Art Direction, and Motion Graphics. Whether in the digital realm or physical media, his design philosophy centers around extensive research, experimentation, and the development of captivating stories that emphasize consistency, structure, and innovative objectives and functionalities. Dexin(Leah) Chen is a graphic designer based in Brooklyn. She has received multiple awards, including TDC Young Ones, ADC Young Ones Shortlisted, D&AD New Blood, Design Education Awards(Bronze), etc. She specializes in creating visual systems and applications encompassing Book Production, Editorial Content, Brand Identities, Typography, Art Direction, and Web Design. Her design approach in both digital and physical media is based on thorough research, experimentation, and creating compelling narratives that focus on coherence, format, and challenging purposes and functions. Haotian and Leah both have a great passion for font design, but each person's focus is different. Haotian excels in creating imaginative and decorative fonts, as well as dynamic visual designs. On the other hand, Leah excels in traditional and legible font design, as well as book layout and typesetting. The two artists complement each other's strengths, combining their areas of expertise to create an experimental font design that is both artistic and readable.

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ARTWORK STATEMENT

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Temptastic is a display font designed to investigate the science of the brain. Inspired by CT scans of the brain, Temptastic is a variation of the word tempting, which conveys the same meaning, but with a more beautiful spelling. Each letter and number is as close as possible to the real shape and symmetry of the human brain, and the dynamic poster is a realistic reproduction of the brain CT. We used transparent vellum paper to print the final zine, which was created through continuous exposure and superimposition and the zine is composed of a vocabulary of brain science and superimposed CT images. Typeface & Motion graphic & Visual - Haotian Dong Print & Visual - Dexin(Leah) Chen










ARTIST INTERVIEW (BDG) - BLACKDOT GALLERY (HD & DC) - HAOTIAN DONG & DEXIN(LEAH) CHEN

(BDG) How did the idea for your project "Temptastic" come about, and what inspired you to explore the science of the brain through font design? (HD & DC)

The idea for our project "Temptastic" was born from a desire to blend the realms of art and science in a visually captivating way. Inspired by the intricate beauty of CT scans of the brain, we sought to explore the neural landscape through typography. The science of the brain, with its complex symmetries and structures, provided a rich source of inspiration to create something unique and meaningful. Motivated by the desire to merge art and science in a novel way, we decided to embark on a journey of transforming these scientific images into a font design that would evoke a sense of wonder and appreciation for both disciplines. We saw an opportunity to break free from conventional font design, which often adheres to predefined shapes and styles, and instead, we wanted to craft letterforms that mirrored the brain's complexity.

(BDG) Could you elaborate on the process of translating CT scans of the brain into the unique and artistic letterforms that constitute the "Temptastic" font? (HD & DC)

Translating CT scans into the "Temptastic" font was a meticulous process. We analyzed the shapes and patterns within the scans and deconstructed them into their fundamental elements. These elements were then reimagined as artistic letterforms, each one embodying the essence of the brain's organic geometry. The result is a fusion of scientific accuracy and creative expression.

(BDG) In your artist statement, you mention complementing each other's strengths. How did your individual areas of expertise contribute to the creation of this experimental font design? (HD & DC)

Leah is an absolute expert at font design and book layout, and Haotian is more focused on the motion graphic and display font, which is more playful. So we did a thing that just let Haotian explore whatever he wanted, and then Leah could always pull him back a little bit to make the project more “realistic”. process. Through special digital techniques, I capture a slice of time and space, preserving the essence of a specific period

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within a defined location. It's about going beyond capturing a single, fleeting moment and instead creating a multi-layered representation of the present. This approach allows me to offer viewers a richer, more immersive experience that transcends traditional photography. (BDG) "Temptastic" strikes a balance between artistic expression and readability. How did you manage to maintain legibility while incorporating elements of imaginative and decorative font design? (HD & DC)

In order to maintain legibility, we preserved the fundamental characteristics of each letter. We then carefully incorporated imaginative and decorative elements, enhancing the aesthetic appeal without impairing the font's usability.

(BDG) The dynamic poster you created realistically reproduces a brain CT. How did you approach this challenging task, and what were some of the creative decisions you made during the design process? (HD & DC)

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It was a fascinating challenge to design a dynamic poster that realistically reproduced a brain CT. To accomplish this, we carefully studied CT images, analyzing the nuances of shading, texture, and depth in each image. With this understanding, we were able to recreate the intricate details of brain scans while adding an artistic touch to them. As part of the creative process, the most visually appealing aspects of the CT scans were chosen and emphasized within the poster design.

(BDG) The final zine is composed of brain science vocabulary and superimposed CT images. Can you share your process of curating and combining these elements to create a coherent and visually impactful publication? (HD & DC)

Curating the final zine involved selecting brain science terminology and superimposing CT images. The goal was to develop a coherent narrative that would captivate the audience. The process involved pairing specific terms with corresponding CT visuals, guiding the reader through an immersive experience that seamlessly integrates scientific knowledge with artistic interpretation.

(BDG) Could you tell us more about the use of transparent vellum paper for printing the zine and the significance of continuous exposure and superimposition in the final product? (HD & DC)

To enhance the thematic coherence of the zine, transparent vellum paper was us ed for printing. By exposing and superimposing images continuously on vellum, a layering effect was created, mimicking the intricate layers of the brain. Through the use of this technique, one was able to illustrate the layers of


understanding that can be attained when one explores both the artistic and scientific aspects of the brain. (BDG) Throughout the project, you emphasised extensive research and experimentation. What were some key insights or surprises you discovered during this process? (HD & DC)

Through extensive research and experimentation, we gained several enlightening insights. Art and science are profoundly intertwined, and the principles governing both realms are often similar. By merging these two approaches, we were able to create a project that was more engaging and impactful than we originally intended.

(BDG) How do you perceive the intersection of art and science in your work, and what message or experience do you hope to convey to your audience through “Temptastic"? (HD & DC)

The original idea for "Temptastic" was not just about creating a visually captivating font design but also about conveying a deeper message to the audience. We wanted to explore the concept of temptation and challenge the common perception that it is always negative or something to be avoided. Instead, we aimed to present temptation as a natural aspect of human existence, akin to a seasoning that adds flavor and excitement to life. In our modern society, there is often a tendency to view temptation as something to resist or suppress, associated with making bad decisions or indulging in harmful behaviors. However, we believed that there is a more nuanced perspective to be explored. Temptation can be an alluring force, capable of adding zest and excitement to life's journey. Just as spices and seasonings enhance the taste of food, embracing certain temptations can enrich our experiences and make life more vibrant and interesting.

(BDG) As a collaborative team, how do you navigate the creative process and ensure that your individual styles and visions align to produce a cohesive and successful project like "Temptastic"? (HD & DC)

Navigating the collaborative process was a dynamic journey of mutual understanding and compromise. In order to align our individual styles and visions, regular communication was essential, ensuring that every creative decision contributed to the cohesiveness of "Temptastic." The project was successful and unified due to the respect each of us showed for each other's expertise and acceptance of the unique perspectives each of us brought to the table.

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JACK LEE JACK LEE, A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY DESIGNER, DISCUSSES HIS CREATIVE JOURNEY FROM TAIWAN TO THE UK, HIS UNIQUE USE OF polarised film and servo motors, AND THE POTENTIAL FOR CUSTOM DESIGNS IN HIS CAPTIVATING INSTALLATION 'THE DOTS - II'.


ARTIST STATEMENT

Jack Lee, a multi-disciplinary designer and artist from Taiwan, specialises in creating interactive experiences through technology art. Throughout his academic journey, he studied various specialisations at schools from Taipei(Taiwan), Brno(Czechia)to London(UK). These diverse experiences helped shape his multidisciplinary background. His areas of expertise include Product Design, Digital Art, and Physical Computing. Studying MA in Design Products at the RCA, he explores the convergence of art and design, employing his multi-disciplinary knowledge to craft captivating projects. Lee's works engage viewers, provoke contemplation, and foster a deeper connection between art, design and the audience.

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ARTWORK STATEMENT

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In this art installation, the panels are precisely arranged and guided by servo motors controlled by a microcontroller. The panels' surfaces are coated with a delicate layer of polarised film, the same as the material of a specially designed face shield that the audience wears. As the panels rotate, the relative angle between the polarised film on the panels and the viewer's face shield changes. This change in angle alters the transmission of light through the panels, affecting their transparency. By manipulating the transparency and time difference of each dot, various dynamic effects will be shown. In this edition, more than 20 servos are aligned to form a rectangular display. As the panels gradually rotate, they create dynamic waves that move from side to side. This installation creates a sense of fluidity in the space, serving as a metaphor of the mobility of human activities.








ARTIST INTERVIEW (BDG) - BLACKDOT GALLERY (JL) - JACK LEE

(BDG) Can you elaborate on how your academic journey, spanning Taipei, Brno, and London, has influenced your multidisciplinary background as a designer and artist? (JL)

While studying in the Design Department at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, the educational focus was predominantly on fundamental techniques and rigorous design research, which aligned more with traditional industrial design. Back then, I thought industrial design was especially about achieving practical applications and problem-solving, resulting in beautifully crafted design outputs. However, I went to Brno University of Technology(BUT) in the Czech Republic during my third year of Bachelor's as an exchange student, where I encountered an entirely different culture and teaching approach. At Brno, the teaching style was distinct from what I used to in Taipei. Instead of providing clear design objectives, the professors guided us to experiment in areas of personal interest. The design process itself was emphasised over the outcomes. As I was in the Faculty of Fine Arts in the BUT, I also got exposed to courses on new media art, igniting my interest in technologydriven art. After returning to Taiwan, I incorporated the skills I learned in the Czech Republic into my graduation project, creating an artwork called "SOUNDMATE" that combined technological art with product design. This project sparked my strong interest in integrating products and technology art. To explore more possibilities in this field, I enrolled in the MA Design Products program at the Royal College of Art(RCA) in the UK, officially embarking on my artistic journey. RCA's teaching methodology encouraged us to unleash creativity, engage in whimsical explorations, and extract intriguing elements for extended design. Throughout this process, I found the direction that genuinely intrigued me - utilising interactive installations to delve into the relationship between human behaviour and the environment; this subsequently led to the development of The Dots series. My experiences of living in three different countries significantly broadened my horizons, liberating my creative vision from the

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confines of traditional design industries. These diverse cultural encounters have enriched the diversity and context of my subsequent creative endeavours. (BDG) The manipulation of polarised film and servo motors in your installation creates dynamic effects. Could you critique the impact of these effects on the viewer's experience and perception of the artwork? (JL)

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I chose polarised film as the crucial material because it can change its transparency through a purely physical rotation. The polarised film can create more intricate and versatile effects than standard colour or light-changing materials. This material is prevalent in our daily lives, but its application in artistic creation has yet to be well-known. Therefore, using such a medium can also bring the audience more curiosity and a sense of surprise. One of the advantages of kinetic installations is its ability to capture the audience's attention at first sight. When they put on the specially designed face shield, they will suddenly reveal unexpected visual effects, which is also a focal point of my intention. The act of putting on the face shield also provides the viewers with a sense of ritual, allowing them to be more focused and immersed in the experiential process. Compared to immediately apparent visual effects, creating surprises through this approach can leave a more profound impression on the viewers.

(BDG) The use of more than 20 servos to create dynamic waves in the installation is intriguing. Can you discuss the technical and artistic challenges you encountered while designing and executing this aspect of the project? (JL)

The Dots II is the second kinetic installation from The Dots series. In the earlier version, I only used seven servo motors. However, in this piece, I've incorporated a staggering 21 servo motors, which has added considerable complexity to the circuitry connections and programming. My background in industrial design allowed me to plan detailed and precise three-dimensional structures and assembly methods in the initial design phase, making me more efficient during the production process. Conversely, as I lacked relevant engineering expertise, I had to rely on self-guided online resources to learn programming and circuit configuration, which dedicated more time to the project. The material characteristics of the polarised film are mesmerising. Different rotation speeds, arrangements, and proportions of overlap yield entirely distinct effects, often deviating from the envisioned outcomes during actual operation. Therefore, iterative testing and design adjustments were necessary, shaping the final product through a trial-and-error process. This piece's eventual arrangement actually differs from my initial design, resulting from an unexpected experiment midway through the setting up of the structure. I always adapt my artwork on-site based on the display


space, aiming for better resonance and integration with the surrounding environment; this is also the most intriguing aspect of creating installation art. (BDG) You mention being open to custom commissions with variable dimensions. How do you approach the process of creating custom designs, and what kind of collaborations or projects are you particularly excited about? (JL)

Due to the simplicity of elements in The Dots series installation, which relies on varying arrangements and dynamic changes of dots to create different visual effects, it can be easily adapted for various application purposes. Each dot can be seen as a module, allowing the quantity and arrangement of units to vary according to client requirements and the space size. Apart from serving as an art installation, The Dots can also be considered a pixelated display, showcasing specific patterns or logos on the surface of architecture. As a result, The Dots holds significant potential for future development in both artistic and commercial applications.

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JILL LIN JILL LIN'S DIVERSE ART PRACTICE, weaving textiles, knitwear, AND interactive digital mediums, CREATES IMMERSIVE HEALING EXPERIENCES, FOSTERING UNIVERSAL CONNECTIONS THROUGH BODILY COMMUNICATION ACROSS CULTURES.


ARTIST STATEMENT

Jill Lin, a Taiwanese artist, engages in a multidisciplinary approach with textiles, knitwear, performance, and interactive digital art. Currently, she has specifically explored the integration of audio-reactive visualisation technologies and realtime biofeedback devices. By transforming the body into interactive canvases that respond to individuals' internal rhy thms, she provides an immersive experience where individuals can delve into their physicality and emotional landscapes. The practices allowed her to develop the potential of physiological data as a new language in this generation. She aimed to create a universal means of communication and understanding that surpasses cultural, linguistic, and societal barriers, and provides a more inclusive and universally applicable means of identification.

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ARTWORK STATEMENT

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Heartbeat Topography is a real-time audio visualisation project that draws inspiration from Polyvagal Theory and aims to promote bodily and emotional security. It converts the detected heartbeat into visual topography to guide users in actively establishing a connection with their bodies. It serves as a guide, allowing people to observe and adjust their breath and heart rhythms to achieve a state of balance and relaxation. Heartbeat Topography visual landscapes vary based on the intensity and frequency of the heartbeat, each individual's physiological data gives rise to a distinctive and personalised terrain. It uses changing colours inspired by the natural world, incorporating principles from colour therapy. The dynamic interplay of hues adds an additional layer of sensory stimulation and emotional resonance to the visual experience.




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Heartbeat Topograph

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Heartbeat Topograph


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Heartbeat Topograph

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Heartbeat Topograph






ARTIST INTERVIEW (BDG) - BLACKDOT GALLERY (JL) - JILL LIN

(BDG) Your artistic practice encompasses textiles, knitwear, performance, and interactive digital art. How do you find synergy between these diverse disciplines, and how does each medium contribute to your exploration of interactive canvases and audio-reactive visualisation technologies? (JL)

I believe in the therapeutic power of creativity, viewing it as a form of healing, The common thread interwoven throughout my creations is the goal of crafting an immersive environment that invites the audience to connect with the artwork on multiple sensory levels, ultimately facilitating a sense of healing and restoration.Considering the use of different textures, materials, and patterns could add a tactile and temperature dimension which provide a physical connection.Performance brings a human element to the engaging creations, movements, gestures, and expressions can influence the behavior of the interactive elements. As for digital technologies, which allows me to create fluid and responsive artworks that change based on various inputs, such as sound, touch, or movement.This adaptability becomes a way for me to expand the participatory approach which could foster a sense of ownership and connection among the visitors.

(BDG) Heartbeat Topography is a captivating project that combines art, science, and emotional well-being. What inspired you to draw from Polyvagal Theory, and how do you aim to promote bodily and emotional security through this audio visualisation project? (JL)

The inception of this project draws from the MA research conducted on the concept of a sense of security at RCA. Polyvagal Theory links our physiological responses to stress and feelings of safety, rooted in the functioning of the vagus nerve and the regulation of the autonomic system. It suggests that a sense of safety happens when the heart and the breath are in harmony.To further develop this concept, I participated in various workshops and consulted experts in related fields. These experiences helped shape the core of Heartbeat Topography. Heartbeat Topography tries to create audiovisual experiences that help individuals to observe and regulate their breath and heart rhythms with the visual cues they perceive. I aim for

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individuals to experience a sense of tranquility. It mirrors a shared moment of serenity.These practices lead to heightened awareness of the subtle shifts and patterns within individuals bodies, fostering a deeper connection with their emotional landscapes.This phenomenon is often associated with Entrainment, it's like this natural synchronization where external stimulation, such as visual cues or rhythmic patterns, influences and aligns with internal physiological processes. (BDG) The transformation of physiological data into a new language is a fascinating concept. Could you elaborate on how you use this data to create a universal means of communication and understanding that transcends cultural and societal barriers? (JL)

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Physiological responses such as heart rate and breath patterns are fundamental aspects of human biology. Regardless of cultural or societal differences, these bodily functions are shared by all humans. These visuals can serve as a medium of communication because they rely on basic human perceptual and cognitive processes.The incorporation of real-time feedback introduces an approach to learning, making practices for realising with the inner body easier. It would allow individuals from diverse backgrounds to represent and explore the artworks on a personal level.

(BDG) Heartbeat Topography creates personalised visual landscapes based on individual physiological data. How do you ensure that each person's unique heartbeat is accurately translated into a distinctive and meaningful visual representation? (JL)

It may not provide medical-grade accuracy like specialized devices, the goal is to provide an emotional experience for the representation. It starts by collecting and recording real-time physiological sound from participants with the agreement. They will position a stethoscope on their hearts, with a mini microphone embedded in the tube to detect internal body sounds. The sound signals will be adjusted for quality and adaptability through an Audio Interface and delivered to the participants by headphone. At the same time, these signals will be linked to real-time interactive software which is used to analyze the audio and it would convert the sound into personal visual effects.

(BDG) Colour therapy plays a role in the changing hues of your visual landscapes. How do you select specific colours to evoke emotional responses and further enhance the sensory experience of your artwork? (JL)

The visual components I aim to incorporate draw inspiration from nature, the main chosen colors, white and green, work together to foster feelings of safety and balance. White is often associated


with purity, clarity, and simplicity. It is a color that could create the sensory experience by providing a soothing effect for other elements. Green, associated with nature and renewal, is the signal of safety, and promotes feelings of balance and harmony, further enhancing the connection between the observer and the visuals. (BDG) As your work involves real-time biofeedback devices, how do you strike a balance between the technical aspects and artistic expression to maintain a seamless and engaging interactive experience for users? (JL)

While technology offers a wide range of possibilities, I view technology as a tool to enhance expression rather than the main focus. Prioritizing the intent and emotional resonance of the experience is better to adapt and thrive in different situations for me. It is important to think about how I want participants to feel and to have as they engage with the devices.Therefore, I hold workshops as a crucial process to refine the designs through feedback and selecting resonances with visual elements, ensuring that the technology remains aligned with the intended artistic expression.

(BDG) In your journey of exploring interactive art, have you encountered any unexpected challenges or breakthrough moments that significantly influenced the direction of your projects? (JL)

As with a background in textile and knitwear, delving into new technological realms needs lots of interdisciplinary consultation and collaboration.Achieving synchronization among different components, including sound, visuals, and user inputs are big challenges for me. With the involvement of sound studio technicians, neuroscience professionals, breathwork workshop facilitators, interactive software specialists, and my tutor, a sound therapist , the conversations lead me to translate the artistic ideas into technical solutions, ensuring the users could engage with the interactive art.

(BDG) Your artist statement emphasises creating a more inclusive and universally applicable means of identification. How do you see the potential impact of your art on diverse audiences, and how can it foster a sense of connection and understanding among people from various backgrounds? (JL)

Initially, my focus centered on a particular underserved group,However, I came to the realization that I wanted my work to have a broader impact and connect with a wider range of people.This realization lead me to my exploration of various nature-derived visuals.Through combining components such as the textural and hues of grasslands, the sensation of wind, and the grounded essence of the earth, I uncovered the ability to craft a collective encounter that transcends cultural and social

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disparities. These are elements universally relatable, irrespective of our origins. Observing these familiar natural features within the real time devices as a common thread that binds us together. (BDG) Looking ahead, what exciting projects or directions are you considering for your multidisciplinary art practice, and how do you envision your work evolving in the future? (JL)

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Heartbeat Topography serves as a starting point of my journey, providing a solid foundation upon which to both refine and expand. One aspect of this refinement involves ensuring its simplicity that makes it engaging and accessible.Moreover, I am exploring how participants can integrate the experiences from Heartbeat Topography into their daily lives to craft a lasting impact.





LINDSAY YIN

BRIDGING Time and Technology IN ART. DISCOVER THE PROFOUND NARRATIVES WOVEN BY ARTIST LINDSAY YIN, WHERE PAST AND FUTURE CONVERGE IN THE DIGITAL AGE.


ARTIST STATEMENT

Lindsay Yin, native from China, graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor's Degree in Film, and then studied Illustration at the University for the Creative Arts in the UK for her Master's Degree, where she worked in various forms of oil painting and digital art. As a rising artist of Generation Z, her diverse background gives her works a global perspective. Her works are mostly based on the theme of linking the past, present and future, focusing on the changes in people's lives and the problems they need to face under the rapid development of technology. The colour blue and various forms of water are recurring elements in her works, giving a sense of solitude and serenity.

ARTWORK STATEMENT

Pixel is one of the basic concepts in the fields of Digital Image, Video, Computer Graphics, etc. It is the smallest unit of an image and is usually used to describe the resolution of a digital image. The mobile phone pictures and images we usually see are composed of such dots. Pixels are dots in another sense, and today we use mobile phones and other electronic devices for more than seven hours a day on average, which means that we spend a lot of time in our lives immersed in the world of pixels. The boundary between the real world and the pixel world is becoming more and more blurred... And at the same time, pollutants such as nuclear wastewater are being released into the sea. The environment in which marine life and human reality are "immersed" is getting harsher by the day. Becoming a pixel may be the way out for our future...

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ARTIST INTERVIEW (BDG) - BLACKDOT GALLERY (LY) - LINDSAY YIN

(BDG) Your artistic journey has led you on a path that spans from studying film in the United States to embarking on a Master's program in Illustration in the UK. How has this diverse background shaped your artistic perspective and the themes you explore in your work? (LY)

At first, my diverse cultural background brought me a lot of confusion. What you conceive in one cultural context may not be applicable in another, so I encountered obstacles on the path to finding my true "self." However, I later realized that in art creation, this is a unique advantage because your perspective is broader. You unconsciously seek commonalities between different cultures and focus on what concerns all of humanity, considering the potential impact on all of humanity in the future. Because no country can exist independently of others; it's about balance, not binary opposition. Global climate and environmental changes, technological advancements - it's hard to definitively say what's purely good or bad; it depends on one's perspective. That's why my works often present open-ended themes without clear viewpoints because I deeply understand the limitations of my own knowledge, and I'm willing to share the space for thought and imagination with the audience.

(BDG) Your art often centres on the theme of linking the past, present, and future, particularly focusing on the impact of rapid technological development. Could you elaborate on the specific changes in people's lives and the challenges they face that inspire your work? (LY)

I often draw inspiration from classical works. For example, the fountain in the pixelated world was inspired by Jan Gossaert's"Adam and Eve" created in 1520. The fountain in this context carries many metaphors. In Genesis, God separated darkness, water, and land in the first three days of creating the world. The fountain in the Garden of Eden introduces water, a natural element, into a human-made structure, forming a cycle. It represents the evolution of human civilization and nurturing. Building magnificent fountains also symbolizes hedonism and humanity's pursuit of beauty. The screens we face, like pixelated fountains, shower us with pixels of information and pleasure.

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(BDG) The color blue and various forms of water are recurring elements in your art, evoking a sense of solitude and serenity. How do these elements contribute to the narratives in your pieces, and what emotions or messages are you hoping to convey? (LY)

Water is an element that appears in almost every one of my works. It is colorless and tasteless. Shades of blue and green, in fact, represent a form of water that I personally admire. It often appears in the ocean under the sunlight or in a clean swimming pool. Life originates from the ocean, and it holds many unknowns and aspirations for us. At the same time, water has the power to engulf everything - tides, waves, floods. With this longing and awe, I can explore "water" in various forms and themes.

(BDG) You've mentioned the increasing blurring of boundaries between the real and digital worlds. Can you provide a detailed review of how this blurring is depicted in your artwork and what it signifies to you? (LY)

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The pixelated world is actually a very interesting subject. Pixels are the basic units for image display, and the more pixels per unit area, the higher the resolution, making the displayed image closer to reality. However, when you enlarge these images enough, you can gradually discover their distortion. This series of works simulates different visual experiences brought about by different pixel counts per unit area. Once, I didn't bring any electronic devices to a caf'e near my home. I noticed that everyone except me was looking at their phones or computers. I quietly sipped my coffee, observed the expressions of each person, experienced the afternoon sunlight, and saw a butterfly resting on a flower petal. The material world we live in is composed of molecules, and molecules are made up of atoms. The perceived reality of this world is actually due to the small size of molecules and atoms. Could our world, the one we live in, also be a pixelated world? I found that I spend an average of 5-7 hours a day facing electronic screens. We gather information, work, study, and entertain ourselves on these screens, experiencing joy and sorrow. The pixelated world has long become a part of our real world. So, based on these thoughts, I created this series of works.

(BDG) Your statement also touches on environmental issues, specifically the release of pollutants like nuclear wastewater into the sea. How does this environmental concern translate into your art, and what role do you believe art plays in raising awareness about such issues? (LY)

For example, in this series, the inspiration for the mutant fish and the sorrowful mermaid comes from recent events, such as the discharge of nuclear wastewater into the sea. Nuclear pollutants may have been in the ocean for a long time. The ocean is the


cradle of life, and nuclear contamination is bound to have some impact on the ecological balance of the sea. The extent of this impact is uncertain. However, if nuclear-contaminated water is not discharged into the sea but stored in a country with frequent tectonic plate movement, what kind of hidden dangers might it pose, how much cost is required to make this water harmless, and where will that cost come from? In my work, the mermaid can only come from the ocean to the land, but she has not yet evolved legs adapted to terrestrial life, so she can only weep on the rocks. The recurring female elements in this series were initially intended to represent my digital avatar. I integrated modeling and generative art into this creative process. If you look closely, you'll notice that "they" all look very similar, yet each one is subtly different, symbolizing the multiple possibilities of the digital future.

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LINYE PAN ENTER THE WORLD OF JEWELLERY ARTIST LINYE PAN AND HER “UNEXPECTED SCENT” COLLECTION. EXPLORE HER EMOTIVE FUSION OF fragrance and metal, A SENSORY JOURNEY INTO INNOVATIVE goldsmithing.


ARTIST STATEMENT

Linye Pan, a talented and passionate jewellery artist, graduated from Birmingham City University in 2023. Her works radiate craftsmanship and a distinctive artistic perspective. Driven by a deep-rooted love for the craft, Linye has honed her skills in goldsmithing, crafting exquisite jewellery that narrates intriguing stories she observes in everyday life. Drawing inspiration from daily life and her experiences, Linye conveys her insights to the audience through her designs. Each piece reflects her profound connection to aesthetics and unwavering dedication to precision and detail.

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ARTWORK STATEMENT

Inspired by the Proust effect, Linye explores the world of scented jewellery and the interaction between the audience and fragrances in her latest collection, “Unexpected Scent”. The Proust effect refers to the sensory experience where a sudden whiff of a familiar scent triggers involuntary memories. This sensation of memory being stimulated by scents captivates Linye.

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Through her research, Linye has discovered that pleasant and aromatic ingredients can evoke positive emotions. Many industries harness this fascinating olfactory transformation, offering consumers scents that engage their senses and provide emotional value that non-scented jewellery cannot replicate. Linye creates innovative materials infused with everyday scents, seamlessly combining them with metals. Her artwork allows the audience to reexperience the Proust effect and unexpectedly immerse themselves in captivating olfactory encounters. Linye's collection, “Unexpected Scent”, encourages active audience engagement, allowing them to bask in scents and momentarily “revisit '' cherished memories. It also supports wearers in carrying scents that trigger unforgettable memories, enhancing their sensory experience and creating a personal and memorable connection.






ARTIST INTERVIEW (BDG) - BLACKDOT GALLERY (LP) - LINYE PAN

(BDG) Your artist statement reveals a deep-rooted love for the craft of jewellery making. What initially sparked your interest in pursuing a career as a jewellery artist, and how has your passion evolved over time? (LP)

When I was a high school student, I took a crafts class where the teacher taught me how to make aluminium sheets into shapes I liked. I found the sawing and polishing of metal sheets to be both very peaceful and fascinating at the time. That was the first time I came into contact with and became interested in metal craft. Later, I learned about jewellery design and gained a general understanding of what a jewellery artist does on a daily basis through the Internet, which sparked my interest in wanting to study jewellery. At the same time, I am also a person who likes to wear uniquely designed jewellery, so I dream of becoming a jewellery artist with my own style of design and focus on craftsmanship. As time went on, my passion for it became stronger, and while I continued to explore my style, I had a general idea of my future and planned to learn many metal techniques that I found interesting but could not yet do or was not good at, such as gemstone setting.

(BDG) Graduating from Birmingham City University in 2023 is an impressive achievement. Could you elaborate on how your education and training have shaped your artistic perspective and approach to creating jewellery pieces? (LP)

Being educated at Birmingham City University School of Jewellery has been a great experience for me. There are many great artists at the university who have helped me in many ways. My biggest influence was the technicians at the school basement, who are dedicated to helping students explore how to make our designs. I learnt a lot about metalwork in my daily contact with them, and when I was interested in a particular process they would teach me and help me understand how to achieve it. I became very interested in metalwork through our communication, and it made me want to incorporate this craftsmanship into my work. They have influenced my style and artistic perspective to a certain extent, as well as being a great help in creating my jewellery.

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(BDG) Your jewellery designs artfully narrate intriguing stories inspired by everyday life. Can you take us through your creative process when translating these stories into wearable art forms? (LP)

My creations usually start with a phenomenon I have observed or an insight I have had that I want to tell through my jewellery. I start the process by extracting as many visual elements as I can from my concepts, and then I experiment with materials to see if I can create something that expresses my feelings and state of mind through sight, touch, smell, or other senses, and then combine them with metal.

(BDG) Your collection "Unexpected Scent" explores the fascinating relationship between fragrance and jewellery design. How do you approach the fusion of scented materials with metals, and what aspects of this intersection do you find most intriguing? (LP)

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Firstly, I experimented with scent materials with scents that are familiar from everyday life and explored the properties of the scent materials created in different ways to make sure that the scent remained stable in the jewellery and that it was familiar to the viewer, and on the other hand, to make sure that the properties of the scent materials were feasible to combine with the metal. This is done by combining the scent material with the metal that has been subjected to a special process, or encapsulated in a specific part of the jewellery. The key is to ensure that the scent and the metal do not interfere with each other, maintaining their respective properties, while creating a visually appropriate effect. What is most fascinating about this fusion is that it is a multi-sensory aspect of the experience for the viewer. The viewer is not only able to see and touch the jewellery, but also perceive the scents within it through their sense of smell. This integrated sensory experience creates a more holistic interaction, allowing the viewer to interact deeply with the piece and create a personal emotional connection.

(BDG) In your research on olfactory transformation and emotional value, how has your understanding of fragrances and their impact on emotions influenced your design choices when creating scented jewellery pieces? (LP)

Perfumes have the powerful ability to trigger emotions. In addition, certain scents can evoke memories and trigger emotions. In my designs, I utilise these properties of perfume to create this emotional connection. I try to create scented materials using familiar scents from everyday life and combine them with metal to make wearable jewellery that triggers different personal memories in the viewer, ensuring that the scents resonate with the viewer and create a sensory experience that deeply engages with the viewer.


(BDG) "Unexpected Scent" encourages active audience engagement. Could you expand on how you envision wearers interacting with your jewellery and the role of scents in enhancing their sensory experience? (LP)

My collection is suitable for everyday wear and allows the wearer to experience the Proust effect either intentionally or at unexpected moments when wearing the pieces. For example, in everyday hand movement, the wearer is able to smell the sudden scent brought by the ring. And for those rings which I have designed a mechanism, the wearer can access the scent by playing with the mechanism. For the only necklace in my collection, the wearer can access the scent by tearing open the sealing bag the moment they want to smell it, and I've made extra pouches with different everyday scents that the wearer can replace with their favourite scent at will. Smells can trigger sensory experiences, and the Proust effect is a sensory experience in which memories are triggered by smell. Scents play a crucial role in enriching sensory experiences. In my series, they evoke personal memories and emotions in the viewer. At the same time scents can create an immersive atmosphere and make the work more memorable.

(BDG) As a talented and passionate jewellery artist, what exciting projects or themes are you looking forward to exploring in your future works? (LP)

As a jewellery artist with a passion for goldsmithing, I am eagerly looking forward to continuing to challenge the technical limits of goldsmithing in my future works, and to try to create breakthroughs in the traditional ways of metal engraving and shaping, in order to present individual, personalised jewellery pieces that will bring a unique visual effect and emotional experience to the wearer. I believe that my continuous exploration will inject unique vitality and glamour into my work. I am dedicated to this journey of artistic growth and innovation in the realm of jewelry design.

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MUDAI EMBARK ON AN INSIGHTFUL DIALOGUE WITH MUDAI, AS SHE INTRICATELY MELDS architecture and art IN HER CERAMICS AND ROCK PAINTINGS. DELVE INTO THE DELICATE EQUILIBRIUM BETWEEN human intervention, science, AND THE authenticity of nature.


ARTIST STATEMENT

Mudai, an artist from mainland China, is currently studying at Kingston University School of Art. Graduated in Architecture from the University of Liverpool in 2021. She endows each artwork with her interdisciplinary study experience, and firmly believes that natural materials can express the emotions of art workers. She creates ceramic works and traditional rock paintings, pursuing a simple and pure style, with a consistent love for nature.

ARTWORK STATEMENT

Repairing Fruits - "I have a dream of witnessing a world where all fruits retain their natural seeds and original appearance, preserving their intrinsic beauty and diversity." The art of porcelain restoration has long been regarded as a crucial method for safeguarding our cultural heritage. In this meticulous process, shattered porcelain pieces are carefully reconstructed, maintaining their original patterns, and filling the voids with white material. The intention is not to adorn them further but rather to allow viewers to reconnect with the essence of their pristine form and allure. The captivating theme of "Repairing Fruits" imbues the inherent fragility of porcelain into the realm of fruits, creating a mesmerising simulation of restoration after experiencing breakage. It symbolises the delicate balance between human progress, science, and nature, reflecting how our relentless pursuit of scientific advancements has led to the asexual propagation and mass commercialization of fruits. As we stand at the apex of civilization, we have come to observe the world through a lens of dominion over the living beings that share this planet - animals, and even plants are not exempt from this gaze.

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The thought-provoking art series showcases a variety of typical modified fruits, each telling a profound story. We encounter the melon, coerced into uniformity, losing its organic charm, and yielding to a calculated market demand that inflates its price. Then, there is the seedless pineapple, genetically altered to satisfy consumer preferences, but at the cost of relinquishing its natural pollination habits, potentially impacting the ecosystem it once coexisted with harmoniously. Finally, the once wild peach, now subjected to relentless hybridisation in pursuit of ultimate juiciness and flavour, yet at the expense of its untamed origins. Amidst this contemplative exhibition, one cannot help but ponder the true essence of these fruits in their unaltered state. What were they like before our interventions? And as time passes, will these genetically modified fruits be lost to history, only to be rediscovered and revitalised by future generations seeking to reconnect with the authenticity of nature? The "Repairing Fruits" art series serves as a powerful reminder of our responsibility as stewards of the environment and its inhabitants. It challenges us to reflect on the delicate balance between progress and preservation, urging us to seek harmony with nature rather than imposing our will upon it. Ultimately, it is an invitation to cherish the diverse beauty of our world's bounty, embracing the imperfections and wonders that nature bestows upon us.

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ARTIST INTERVIEW (BDG) - BLACKDOT GALLERY (M) - MUDAI

(BDG) Your interdisciplinary study experience in both Architecture and Art is fascinating. How do you incorporate the knowledge from these fields into your ceramic works and traditional rock paintings, and how does it influence your artistic expression? (M)

While, the experience in architecture study influenced me to care about the space and materials. For instance, the tutors always talk about “less is more” in contemporary architecture design process. We focusing the “trip”, the “space” and the “light”, these are the alphabet for Architectural languages. Which share the similar sequence with the “storytelling” process in visual communication, we use colours, shapes to show our emotions. The only part which differently, is that, now I changed from digital designing into handcraft. Also, it cannot be denied that, “sustainable” is the most popular key word in this era. My architectural background has deepened my emphasis on the effective application of materials. Ceramic clay and rock painting pigments are both sourced from the elements of nature. These element are the fundamental things for us and for all the creatures in this world. I also engage in the hands-on creation of rock pigments. Despite the time-consuming process, it allows me to capture the colours sourced directly from the earth.

(BDG) "Repairing Fruits" is a thought-provoking art series that beautifully combines the fragility of porcelain restoration with the realm of fruits. Could you share the inspiration behind this captivating concept and what message you aim to convey through your art? (M)

The initial inspiration for this concept came to me during a project where I used traditional Chinese painting techniques to depict a melon. carefully incorporating the natural patterns of its skin, leaving white spaces that resembled the gaps in cracked porcelain. This resemblance prompted me to draw a parallel with the process of restoring ceramics in museums. Occasionally, archaeological discoveries yield artefacts shattered into just a few fragments, yet skilled artisans painstakingly restore and reconstruct them, leaving behind spaces that invite imagination. This aesthetic of fragmented beauty bears a resemblance to the Venus de Milo with her missing arms - broken yet tangibly embodying the opulence of her era.

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These musings led me to contemplate the swift advancements in genetic engineering in our contemporary age. Just as fruits have undergone generations of modifications, I wondered: What were their original forms like? Could there come a time when the primal versions of these fruits are only displayed in museums, much like repaired porcelain treasures? This concept challenges the viewers with a question: What will the current strides in gene manipulation truly bring forth for us? (BDG) The delicate balance between human progress, science, and nature is a central theme in your art. How do you envision this balance and the relationship between our relentless pursuit of scientific advancements and the preservation of nature's authenticity? (M)

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The balance between these two topics is always controversial. I endorse posthumanism and oppose anthropocentrism. "Humans have no inherent rights to destroy nature or set themselves above it in ethical considerations a priori." A biology mentor who significantly influenced me once asked, "What would happen if there were no doctors in the world?" I responded almost instinctively, "Humanity would evolve." He nodded and asked, "In that case, does our profession hold meaning?" This question has troubled me for years, and I find it difficult to answer. My family's involvement in biology and scientific research has deeply impacted me, making me feel conflicted about the cruelty of animal and cellular experiments, while understanding our fear of death. The endeavour of “Repairing Fruits” is just a minor topic, not yet extending to a firm stance against animal experimentation or meat consumption driven by anthropocentrism. Nevertheless, I believe it serves as a starting point, and I aspire to share this controversial subject with everyone.

(BDG) "Repairing Fruits" explores the impact of human interventions on the appearance and essence of fruits. How do you perceive the potential consequences of genetic modifications and mass commercialization on biodiversity and ecological balance? (M)

This is an important topic that involves various aspects such as ethics, environmental protection, and sustainable development. I believe that humans should cultivate a broader awareness of their relationship with other species and adopt an attitude of respect and equality across all levels. While many of us are now embracing vegetarianism, advocating against intensive farming, and opposing the slaughter of animals, I believe that the root of human speciesism goes beyond these actions. We coexist with all forms of life on this planet, including animals, plants, bacteria, fungi, and various inorganic elements. Merely


reducing meat consumption is not enough to improve the entire Earth's food chain. Even in our research on plants, genetic modifications, and mass commercialization, the underlying perspective still revolves around a human-centric form of selfredemption. Our consciousness has not yet reached the point where we should halt merely at dietary changes. Rather, we should acknowledge the equality of all that surrounds us, and hold reverence for every living being. Speciesism should have no place in any domain, including the realm of science that we often take pride in. (BDG) The symbolism of the melon, seedless pineapple, and hybridised peach speaks volumes about the complexities of our interactions with nature. Could you elaborate on the emotions and sentiments you wish to evoke in viewers through these art pieces? (M)

I aim to evoke a sense within the audience, achieved through the carefully arranged exhibits, that they are observing these "fruit relics" within a museum setting. My intention is to create a perceptible gap between the spectators and the fruits that are most commonplace in our lives. This divide is shaped by the passage of time and the interventions of human hands. As an example, ancient Chinese poetry once vividly described watermelons from over a thousand years ago during the Song Dynasty, featuring yellow-hued flesh and crimson seeds. This stands in stark contrast to the watermelons of today with their red flesh and black seeds. Notably, those historical watermelons boasted larger seeds and less saccharine flesh. Consequently, what kind of emotions do we experience when we truly encounter such a watermelon? Beyond mere astonishment, a sense of melancholic nostalgia arises. This feeling stems from the vast expanse of time and the influence of human cultivation, which creates a gulf between us and the depictions found in historical texts. In a way, if contemporary observers can unearth emotions beyond surprise upon encountering these "restored fruits," then I would consider my endeavors to have met their mark.

(BDG) The use of ceramics and traditional rock paintings in your art is intriguing. How do these mediums help you convey the delicate and nuanced emotions associated with the interplay between humans and nature? (M)

Clay originates from the earth, and the materials used in rock paintings also stem from nature. Working with them is akin to my hands caressing the land, forging a unique connection to the world I inhabit. Unlike many other artists, I occasionally invite

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viewers to touch my creations, to listen to their resonance. This embodies my perception of the intertwining bond between humanity and art, as well as the connection between humans and the natural world. This tactile interaction offers an intimate exploration, allowing individuals to experience the textures, warmth, and even sounds that emanate from my pieces, thus fostering a deeper understanding of the inherent relationship we share with both art and the environment. (BDG) Looking forward, what new themes or directions are you contemplating for your artistic journey? Furthermore, how do you see your work evolving to continue addressing the important relationship between humanity and the natural world? (M)

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As mentioned earlier, my family's influence ignited a deep interest in biology and science within me. However, I've chosen not to pursue scientific research due to my concern about disrupting nature as a human. Instead, I'm dedicated to interdisciplinary art, aiming to illuminate the harmonious connection between humans and all life forms from diverse perspectives. I'll continue using traditional methods and materials to enhance the bond between art and nature. While some may be drawn to radical approaches that garner immediate attention, my philosophy is rooted in the belief that genuine transformation arises from a gradual and introspective process. Much like the way a stream's meandering flow patiently carves its course, I aspire for my creations to delicately infiltrate the inner world of those who observe them. These artworks, like the soothing yet persistent trickle of a spring, have the potential to evoke contemplation, insight, and ultimately a renewed perspective on the intricate tapestry of life. In another life, I'd willingly embody the essence of the ordinary.





SEVEN WHERE ART, FASHION, AND DESIGN CONVERGE. EXPLORE THE DYNAMIC ARTISTRY OF SEVEN, MERGING fashion, design, AND vibrant colours INTO A CAPTIVATING VISUAL JOURNEY.


7 ARTIST STATEMENT

I hail from a background rooted in interior design, my artistic journey having unfolded within the bustling heart of Shanghai, a global fashion hub. Over the course of a decade, I have immersed myself in the world of space art design. My pursuit, however, extends beyond these boundaries; it delves into the intricate interplay of fashion, design, and art.

My creative sensibilities are nurtured by an unwavering quest for innovation, a ceaseless exploration fuelled by visits to exhibitions and adventures into uncharted territories. These endeavours unearth the concealed links threading through art, design, and fashion, often revealing profound beauty in their convergence. I believe that within this fusion of disciplines lies an untapped reservoir of possibilities. Therein exists an opportunity to redefine the boundaries of creativity, to discover new avenues that transcend convention. Each experience, each encounter, enriches my design philosophy, forging a dynamic fusion of design, fashion, and art that serves as the guiding framework for exploring the dynamic interplay between life and art, style and substance.

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ARTWORK STATEMENT

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The number "7" is not just a digit; it's an integral facet of my identity. As the embodiment of my birthday and my lucky number, "7" has transitioned through a kaleidoscope of colours, mirroring the phases of my life's journey. From the age of 7 to 17, it exudes a rebellious black, symbolising youthful audacity and an unyielding spirit. This is the time when I started to craft my individuality, daring to push boundaries. As life progressed from 17 to 27, "7" morphed into a tranquil blue, reflecting curiosity and a thirst for exploration. These years were marked by discovery, as I ventured into diverse territories, both in my career and personal life. The transition to pink, between 27 and 37, heralds a more mature, purposeful stage in my life. Pink embodies gentleness and a deep sense of intention, mirroring my journey towards self-realisation. Each colour encapsulates a distinct phase in my life. These transformations are not merely chromatic but reflect the evolution of my character, my aspirations, and my outlook. Through these colours, I invite you to delve into your own experiences and connect with the ever-changing hues of your life's journey.




ARTIST INTERVIEW (BDG) - BLACKDOT GALLERY (S) - SEVEN

(BDG) Your background in interior design has led to a unique perspective in your art. How does your experience in interior design influence your approach to space art design and your exploration of the connections between fashion, design, and art? (S)

My journey from architecture to interior and space design continually fuels my creativity. I frequently attend exhibitions and festivals, where the interplay of light, materials, and shadows inspires my expressive designs. This synthesis of design, fashion, and art informs my artistic perspective.

(BDG) Shanghai is known as a global fashion centre. How does being based in this vibrant city impact your artistic vision and the themes you explore in your work? (S)

Shanghai, as China's fashion capital, constantly births new trends, from Shanghai Fashion Week to the Shanghai Fashion Festival. This dynamic environment offers a wealth of inspiration. Frequent exposure to emerging concepts broadens my creative horizons.

(BDG) Your work statement revolves around the number "7" and its evolution through different colours and stages of growth. Can you provide a critique of how colour symbolism adds depth and meaning to your art, and how it reflects your personal journey? (S)

Colours symbolize unique personalities, and my creations reflect this diversity. From the dominance of blue, inspired by Klein Blue's purity and freedom during my formative years, to other hues representing distinct stages of my growth, colours convey the evolution of my identity and creativity.

(BDG) The concept of "7" representing both your birthday and lucky number is fascinating. How does personal symbolism play a role in your artistic expression, and what significance does it hold in your creative process? (S)

The enigmatic symbolism of "7" holds personal meaning, evoking feelings of love and making a lasting impression. Its charm lies in its ability to capture attention and affection from those I love, a sentiment that resonates deeply in my creative journey.

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(BDG) You mention that your inspiration initially comes from life, exploring lifestyle and discovering the art of life. Can you elaborate on how everyday life and experiences find their way into your art, and how they contribute to your unique artistic voice? (S)

My artistic inspiration derives from the richness of everyday life, particularly through travel and engagement with diverse cultures. Conversations with locals during my journeys and visits to exhibitions infuse my work with fresh ideas and perspectives, shaping my unique artistic voice.

(BDG) The keywords you've provided, such as "coffee," "light," "shadows," and "culture," offer a glimpse into your creative world. How do these elements influence your work, and could you provide a detailed review of their impact on your artistic practice? (S)

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Coffee, a daily ritual, jumpstarts my creativity each day. Focusing on light and shadows is essential to infuse spaces with artistic allure. Understanding culture is integral to my design process, as it forms the foundation of creating meaningful and impactful designs.

(BDG) You express a growing attraction to diverse expressions in the arts. Could you discuss any specific artistic influences or experiences that have broadened your perspective and led to new directions in your work? (S)

Pioneering architect Zaha Hadid's bold, colourful designs profoundly influenced my creativity, reinforcing the limitless nature of design. Additionally, the captivating work of artist Yayoi Kusama expanded my horizons, revealing the boundless possibilities within the realm of art.







XUANBO CAO A THOUGHT-PROVOKING DIALOGUE ON Earthly Confinement AND Inner Freedom. EXPLORE THE INTRICATE WORLD OF XUANBO CAO, WHERE EMOTIONS, NATURE, AND THE boundaries of existence CONVERGE.


ARTIST STATEMENT

Xuanbo's artistic journey is anchored in a strong academic foundation, having successfully completed her postgraduate studies in illustration at Kingston University. Her creative impulses draw extensively from the world of flora, the human experience, and her own deeply felt emotions. Her creative process serves as a channel for expressing these intricate aspects of existence that often elude the casual observer. With her sights set on the realm of fine art, Xuanbo aspires to translate her distinctive artistic style and the subtle, often imperceptible emotions she perceives into her work. By harnessing the medium of painting, she endeavors to render visible the delicate nuances of these emotions, allowing viewers to explore and connect with the rich tapestry of feelings that permeate her art. This journey promises to offer a captivating exploration of the hidden depths within the human experience and the natural world.

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ARTWORK STATEMENT

Gentle Prison - Many empathize with the marine life confined in aquariums, viewing the square glass tanks as cages that restrain them. However, it's intriguing to consider that the entirety of our planet is, in essence, a colossal enclosure. Beyond the oceans, the plains, mountains, and deserts all serve as their own types of confinement, collectively forming Earth's vast, intricate prison. Within this complex cell, elements like oxygen, sunlight, rain, clouds, breezes, heavy snowfall, plants, animals, and even minuscule bacteria appear to be meticulously orchestrated across the Earth's surface.

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In contrast, the universe beyond Earth remains eerily silent. All earthly sounds are muffled by the barrier of our atmosphere, and the gamut of human emotions - joy, anger, sorrow, and despair - unfolds solely within this expansive enclosure. It's akin to how we cannot perceive the voices of sea creatures behind the glass, isolated from their aquatic world.








ARTIST INTERVIEW (BDG) - BLACKDOT GALLERY (XC) - XUANBO CAO

(BDG) Your postgraduate degree in illustration from Kingston University has been a significant part of your artistic journey. How has this academic background shaped your approach to painting and expressing hidden emotions through your art? (XC)

During my studies, my logical thinking became more rigorous. I questioned every detail, understanding the "why" behind each decision. I believe this forms the essential foundation for any project or painting. However, painting is often a spontaneous act, so while creating, I let go of certain fixed logical patterns, striving to achieve a balanced relationship between rationality and emotion.

(BDG) The inspiration for your work comes from plants, life, and personal emotions. Could you delve into how these elements converge in your artistic process to create pieces that resonate with viewers? (XC)

Life and emotions are frequently discussed topics. I enjoy extracting the most special, minute details from ordinary things and emotions, magnifying them. Observing marine life in an aquarium is a common daily activity where people admire creatures unseen on land, gaining knowledge about the ocean. Some may feel these beings are imprisoned. While observing, I contemplate the fact that once we leave Earth, we face lifethreatening situations. Oxygen, sunlight, rainwater, the food chain - Earth resembles a vast ecological bottle. We watch captive creatures; who beyond our universe watches us? Or perhaps no one does, and we're merely imagining it.

(BDG) "Gentle Prison" is a thought-provoking series that reflects on the concept of cages in various contexts. Could you share the symbolic significance behind these cages and how they relate to the emotions and experiences you aim to convey? (XC)

This cage represents Earth, where gravity confines us. We lose access to oxygen and the ability to breathe beyond this boundary, risking our lives if we venture outside. While Earth offers mountains, rivers, land, plants, animals, and human consciousness, we are equally subject to natural disasters. Ecology achieves balance, and within this Earthly enclosure, we find self-sustenance and entertainment, propagating our species.

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(BDG) Your description of the ocean as an irregularly shaped enclosure and the Earth as a combination of multiple enclosures is intriguing. How do these perceptions influence your portrayal of nature and the universe in your art? (XC)

Because Earth's organisms, including humans, are minuscule, we can only move freely within a limited range. Even if we create spacecraft, we must carry pre-prepared oxygen and fuel, emphasising our Earthly captivity.

(BDG) The concept of sounds being confined within the "cage" of Earth, while the universe remains silent, is evocative. How do you explore this dichotomy between internal and external experiences through your artistic representation? (XC)

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I believe that expressing sound relies on the environment. During exhibitions, when viewers approach the artwork, sounds like the rustling of clothing, footsteps, breathing, the placement of glasses, and widened eyes can be heard beyond the glass of the painting. However, passersby outside remain unaware and indifferent, much like the universe's attitude toward Earth.

(BDG) Could you provide insight into your artistic process? How do you translate complex concepts like cages and confinement into visual imagery that resonates with your audience? (XC)

I prepare the necessary pigments on a separate piece of paper. I lightly apply a small amount of pigment with my fingertip to the painting surface, establishing the overall colour scheme. Then, I deepen the colours, leaving blank spaces for detailing. Coloured pencils are used for fine-tuning. I perceive the paper as a confined space, and I draw a frame within, further restricting the imprisoned creatures. Beautiful landscapes are encapsulated and framed within a small canvas, as if preserving cherished memories.

(BDG) "Gentle Prison" offers a unique perspective on our relationship with the environment and the cosmos. What impact do you hope your art will have on viewers' perceptions of the world around them and their place within it? (XC)

I hope my work evokes a sense of serenity. I also wish that viewers won't feel compelled to interpret my artwork solely based on my descriptions. Simultaneously, I hope viewers can provide me with diverse feedback, as everyone's visual experience yields unique stories and perspectives. Different ages and professions have provided me with distinct viewpoints during exhibitions.





YI JIUN HUNG

CRAFTING UNIQUE SPACES: A JOURNEY FROM SPATIAL DESIGN TO ARTISTRY. EXPLORE YI JIUN HUNG'S Unconventional Objects AND THE STORIES THEY TELL.


ARTIST STATEMENT

Yi Jiun Hung is a spatial designer and object maker artist based in London. Graduated from Royal College of Art interior design master degree in 2017. Back to Taiwan for years to work in the field of interior design, involving display, exhibition, interiors and furniture. Passion for interiors, furniture and objects to experiment the possibility of materials, structures and forms to establish an identity based on human behaviour and culture. Pursuit on organic forms from anthropomorphising objects to create scenarios in testing experimental materials.

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ARTWORK STATEMENT

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“Take the biscuits” is the chapter one of the Unknown Beings. An Anthropomorphised object is given a unique personality to create scenarios in experimental materials. Organic forms bring the different layers of boundaries to cultivate the souls and interaction. They are portable that could bring out dialogs when they are moved in different locations. All made from the biological materials for breaking the rules of what materials usually are. It is just the beginning of the journey. Let the audience imagine, think and define what these objects mean to them. Are they chairs, objects or beings from nowhere?






ARTIST INTERVIEW (BDG) - BLACKDOT GALLERY (YH) - YI JIUN HUNG

(BDG) Could you share how your background in spatial design and interior architecture has influenced your transition into object making and art, and how it shapes your unique artistic perspective? (YH)

When I was involved in spatial design, besides considering walls and ceilings, I also needed to design objects within the space. During this process, I gradually discovered my unique emotional connection to designing objects. I enjoyed translating the lines and elements of large spaces into small objects and found immense satisfaction in this process. As I engaged in construction work, I became increasingly aware of the enormous amount of materwials used in interior decoration. Nowadays, people don't tend to stay in one space for several decades as they once did. Some spaces are renovated or completely redone within just a few years. This led me to contemplate the meaning of designing these spaces. Decorations cannot be taken with us when we leave, but objects, from my perspective, possess sustainability and can be carried along. Objects tend to hold a deeper connection, meaning, or memory for people compared to spaces. I aspire to create objects that are unique and meaningful.

(BDG) Your passion for experimenting with materials, structures, and forms to establish identity is evident. How do you navigate the balance between pushing creative boundaries and maintaining a sense of functionality in your furniture and object designs? (YH)

When I work, I don't initially designate whether they are furniture or objects. I begin by drawing what I envision, and perhaps because I regard them as unknown beings in my imagination, they tend to remain neutral.

(BDG) "Take the biscuits" introduces the concept of anthropomorphised objects with unique personalities. Could you elaborate on how you give life to these objects and create scenarios through experimental materials? (YH)

I believe it's the lines that make them seem lifelike, breaking away from the conventional forms we associate with furniture and objects. Unexpected materials grant them unique personalities.

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(BDG) The Unknown Beings series challenges traditional material expectations. Could you delve into your approach to using biological materials and how it defies conventional notions of materials in design? (YH)

This series leans towards functional art. For "Take the Biscuits", I experimented with organic materials that I had been researching. These materials can create a distinct texture and, at the same time, repair surfaces. In the future, if you decide you don't want them anymore, they can be decomposed and reused. I hope these objects can have sustainable significance and be intriguingly special.

(BDG) "Take the biscuits" offers portable dialogue through object movement. How do you envision these objects engaging in conversation and interaction when placed in different locations? (YH)

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Objects placed in different spaces will naturally engage in different interactions. The intriguing aspect is that you never know who will place them in what kind of space. The distinct personalities of "Take the Biscuits" will naturally lead to different collisions and dialogues in varying spatial settings.

(BDG) The concept of anthropomorphised objects can carry various interpretations. Could you share some of the emotions or narratives you hope to evoke from your audience when they encounter these unique beings? (YH)

I hope these objects can bring out the pure side of people. When viewers look at them, they can naturally be transported into a parallel dimension, finding them amusing and healing.

(BDG) Your artistic statement mentions allowing the audience to imagine, think, and define the objects' meaning. How do you perceive the role of the viewer in completing the narrative of your creations? (YH)

I perceive that viewers' imaginations as they look at these objects can lead to different scenes and dialogues, simultaneously infusing these objects with vitality.

(BDG) Looking ahead, how do you envision the evolution of your interdisciplinary practice, and what impact would you like your art to have on the way people perceive objects, materials, and the spaces they inhabit? (YH)

Concerning the shaping of spaces, I have always believed in using different objects to create spaces. I hope these objects can help people craft their unique spatial scenarios.





YILING WU EMBROIDERY ARTIST YILING WU WEAVES INTRICATE STORIES THROUGH minimalist stitches, EVOKING INDIVIDUALITY AND inner peace. DISCOVER HER JOURNEY FROM TAIWAN TO LONDON, BLENDING tradition with modernity.


ARTIST STATEMENT

Yiling Wu is a contemporary embroidery artist from Taiwan, currently based in London. She graduated from London College of Fashion, specialising in fashion textiles, and her adventurous spirit fuels her creative journey. Yiling's area of expertise lies in digital embroidery, and her work has been showcased at esteemed events such as Premiere Vision 2021 and Taiwan Expo 2022, where she participated as a textile designer. Her artistic exploration revolves around the intricate interplay between fashion and contemporary embroidery, highlighting the intriguing contrast between tradition and modernity.

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ARTWORK STATEMENT

173 “I certainly love to see the freedom and breathing spaces while creating my embroidery pieces.” Yiling draws inspiration from the beauty of nature, cultural traditions, and pressing social issues. Her artistic focus centres on pushing the boundaries of 2D and 3D embroidery. She dedicates herself to experimenting with diverse techniques, combining a variety of materials, digital embroidery skills, and hand beading methods to craft her distinctive style of embroidery. “Everyone could somehow find their own inner peace in my embroidery.” Yiling's works embody a conceptual and minimalistic approach, providing a glimpse into her unique perspective of the world and vivid imagination, all intricately woven into her embroidery. With every stitch, she shares her profound aspirations. “Embroidery should be one-of-a-kind.” Rather than producing repetitive pieces, Yiling revels in crafting embroidery that bears its own individuality and charm, each with its own set of intricate details.






ARTIST INTERVIEW (BDG) - BLACKDOT GALLERY (YW) - YILING WU

(BDG) Your artistic journey spans from Taiwan to London, and you draw inspiration from nature, cultural traditions, and social issues. How have these diverse influences shaped your unique approach to embroidery? (YW)

I will say growing up in Taiwan provides me the opportunity to see and interpret my inspirations in different angles. Landing in London later on provides me the platform and training I can speak up for myself. Both cultural backgrounds affect me as an embroidery artist in multiple ways from research analysing to materials selection while creating my embroidery works.

(BDG) In your work statement, you mention pushing the boundaries of 2D and 3D embroidery. Could you share some examples of how you combine various techniques and materials to achieve this artistic exploration? (YW)

When thinking about pushing boundaries between 2D and 3D, I will first think about how my embroidery can act without fabric support, does the design be enough to support themselves without having a base fabric? Later I will start researching materials that can become additional support to my embroidery designs. If in some cases there’s no possibility to turn embroidery into fully 3D artwork, then I will go back to the 2D basics.

(BDG) Your distinctive style of embroidery involves digital embroidery skills and hand beading methods. How do you balance these traditional and modern elements to create cohesive and visually captivating pieces? (YW)

I will say there is never a true balance between traditional embroidery and digital embroidery. All it takes is to keep testing, add-on, take-off, add-on and take-off, until a point I feel myself is physically and mentally comfortable with how my artwork looks. Is not a short process, sometimes it takes five minutes but most of the time I want to punch myself in the end.

(BDG) Your works are described as embodying a conceptual and minimalistic approach. How do you communicate complex ideas and emotions through the seemingly simple medium of embroidery?

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(YW)

I will say sketching is a very important part of my work, not saying delicate drawing, most of the time my sketching are simple quick sketches. Through this process I can visualise how I would like my embroidery to look like, where can I add-on or where can I take-off, also play around with different collages of materials and techniques. Of course later on I need to visualise my design into delicate sketches for the digital embroidery process, but apart from that, I think the quick sketches process helps me a lot with translating complex ideas to simple stitches.

(BDG) Each stitch in your embroidery seems to carry a profound aspiration. What do you hope your audience takes away from experiencing your pieces, and how do you convey your inner peace through your art? (YW)

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I hope the audiences or whoever walks past my works can find their own freedom through my works. We might all be trapped inside some stereotype once in our life, but I hope the audience can take away the feeling of “we are enough to be ourselves, we are all blooming in our own timeline.” I convey my inner peace through simple stitches and colours in my artworks. Instead of layering multiple stitches in one artwork, I always prefer the simplest stitch that I could express while creating my embroidery. Besides, I always prefer less colour appearance in one artwork as I believe the less colour I involve in one artwork the stronger my emotion can express.

(BDG) Your dedication to creating one-of-a-kind embroidery pieces is evident. How do you approach the process of ensuring each artwork bears its own individuality and charm? (YW)

I approach the one-of-a-kind idea with embroidery material called water soluble fabric. After embroidering on the fabric and washing it out, my embroidery design will become uncertain. Until this stage, each of my embroidery artworks will be one-of-a-kind, even if they are coming from the same embroidery design.

(BDG) Could you tell us about the role of colours in your embroidery and how you choose the palettes to enhance the narrative and emotions in your work? (YW)

Colour is how I express the theme of my artworks to my audience. Usually I will set the bigger theme of my artwork collection first, later on I will play with multiple colour combinations to see if they speak to me in the right way I want to deliver to the audience, normally I will give myself a limitation to the colour options as I always feel the less colour I use, the more my work can speak.

(BDG) Being featured in prestigious events like Premiere Vision and Taiwan Expo must have been exhilarating. How have these experiences impacted your artistic career and the direction of your work?


(YW)

Being able to be part of these prestigious events does help me with getting a clearer image of how I can sit in this industry as an artist and designer, and also inspires me to think deeper about the relationship between embroidery and fashion. However, after attending these events also guided me to rethink my vision of embroidery, does embroidery need to align with fashion? Can embroidery become the main character of its own?

(BDG) Looking ahead, what exciting projects or themes are you planning to explore in your future embroidery artworks? (YW)

I would like to push the limits and explore the limits of 3D embroidery, also experiment on the scale of my embroidery as well. Apart from that, I would like to explore different mediums apart from resin that could bring my embroidery to another level.

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YIWEN ZHANG

DELVE INTO YIWEN ZHANG'S Enamel Brooch WORLD. DISCOVER THE FUSION OF tradition and modernity, UNVEILING A FRESH PERSPECTIVE ON EMOTIONS AND EXPERIENCES.


ARTIST STATEMENT

I am an artist with a background in jewellery design, working mainly in the Birmingham area of the UK and mainland China, I focus on explore enamelling works (a kind of traditional material with long history) in the contemporary visual context, creating new visual effects through the flexible use of enamel techniques in cooperation with different kinds of enamel glazes. Variations in rich texture and colour are important in my enamel works as I aim to evoke emotional resonance in people through touching and wearing these pieces.

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ARTWORK STATEMENT

In this series of brooches I attempted to explore the multi-faceted nature of objects. The project started from my interpretation of Edvard Munch's oil paintings, in which he used rich colours to depict the negative aspects of people's lives and psychological state in the late 19th century, and I realised that some "dark" facts could be considered from a different perspective (more relieved aspect). So I made a set of brooches with enamel in a rich colour palette. The visual elements of the brooches came from my research on the real life "dilemma" of the people in the late 19th century, to explore the many facets of the "dark" things.

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ARTIST INTERVIEW (BDG) - BLACKDOT GALLERY (YZ) - YIWEN ZHANG

(BDG) You have a background in jewellery design and focus on enamel works, a traditional material. Can you share what initially drew you to enamel as a medium for your artistic expression? (YZ)

I try to "paint" the metal with enamelling, the exciting thing is that through the combination of different kinds of enamel glaze (transparent, opaque and painting enamel)and engraving technique, it is possible to achieve touchable textures and multi visual effects. It can be said that enamel is a good narrative material that gives the creator a lot of space to explore.

(BDG) Enamel has a rich history. How do you approach using enamel techniques flexibly to create new visual effects in your contemporary art pieces? (YZ)

I mainly focus on three aspects in this project: layering and stacking, matching different kinds of enamel glazes, and carving on surface. For example, in this project, I need to use enamel to achieve a kind of oil painting brushstroke effect, then the enamel piece's base glaze should preferably be thicker, like painting to burn out the main colour blocks first, then use the diamond burs to refine it, and finally use the painting enamel glaze to outline the structure. During the production period, it is necessary to cycle this step many times.

(BDG) Texture and colour variations appear to be crucial in your enamel works. Could you elaborate on how you aim to evoke emotional responses in people through these tactile and visual qualities? (YZ)

In this project, the main thing is to intuitively make people feel a kind of savage vitality through the bright and rich colour variations and the relatively messy and disorderly sense of brush strokes.

(BDG) Your brooch series explores the multi-faceted nature of objects, inspired by Edvard Munch's oil paintings. How did Munch's work influence your creative process, and how do you reinterpret the negative aspects he portrayed from a different perspective? (YZ)

Munch himself has mentioned that the so-called "negative subjects" in his paintings are actually things that really happened around him. What attracts me to Munch's paintings is that he

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uses a lot of vibrant colours and some loose brush strokes. So in my opinion, he used a more vibrant and vital way in the case of realistic subjects. It is his subjective reaction to a realistic situation and has inspired me a lot in the development of my project. (BDG) The visual elements in your brooches stem from research on the real-life "dilemmas" of people in the late 19th century. How does this historical research shape the narrative and meaning in your work? (YZ)

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The living condition of the working class at the end of the 19th century was difficult , because the industrial revolution has just emerged, which has caused a negative impact on the employment of the working class. From some books and documentaries, I learnt that their living conditions, including foods, illness, wearing, which can also correspond to the situation depicted by Munch. However, in my opinion, Munch's images do not contain many specific things, but more of an expression of emotions. In this project, I conducted a detailed research on the living conditions of the people at that time, and used these elements I got to symbolise an unsatisfactory state of life, and then interpreted them with a more vital perspective.

(BDG) Your description mentions exploring the many facets of "dark" things. Could you share your perspective on how these facets are conveyed in your brooch series and the emotions or thoughts you hope viewers will experience? (YZ)

My project is divided into two parts, one is the so-called "dark", the other is the so-called "light", these are subjective descriptions, but actually the fact is many-sided, "dark" things also have colourful parts, "light" things also have some dark corners, there is no absolute good or bad, happiness or unhappiness. So I use rich colours to show some things that look unsatisfactory, and I added a few broken elements on some pretty things. If people can see the many sides and angles of the fact, they may not feel so painful when they encounter this kind of unsatisfactory situation.

(BDG) Enamel has both a traditional and contemporary presence. How do you balance these aspects in your work, bridging the historical significance of the material with modern artistic expressions? (YZ)

The modern expression of enamelling must be based on traditional techniques. Traditional enamelling works are relatively delicate, such as filigree cloisonne works and fine jewellery made of enamel. In my works, I don't use cloisonne to delineate the range of each colour block, but allow the different colours to blend naturally through heating, thus creating a " sense of brush strokes ". I try to show a loose effect, but I need to keep a balance between "loose" and "tight", so I use diamond burs to trim the edges of each colour block. During the making process, I prefer


not to anticipate the results, I tend to improvise and optimise the pieces according to my intuition.Because sometimes I look forward to the "surprises", and also the "accidents", as accidents arise and are solved, my understanding of the material deepens. (BDG) Lastly, can you provide insights into your future artistic plans or projects involving enamel or other mediums? (YZ)

I try to explore different enamelling textures depending on the theme of each project. I am working on my latest project TRAINERS, a series of 12 enamel necklaces. In this project, I try to show the textures of the personal traces of used trainers and the texture of the trainers by enamelling. Thus talking about the relationship between individual uniqueness (personal traces) and social commonality (mass-produced shoe structures). In this project, I tried to imitate the texture, structures of the shoes and the traces of wear by enamelling, and the final result is very different from the project DARK, and the subsequent works will be posted on my instagram.

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EXPLORE THE WORLD OF ART THROUGH THE VOICES OF diverse talents. JOIN US ON A JOURNEY INTO THE MINDS AND MOTIVATIONS OF ARTISTS, unlocking the secrets BEHIND THEIR CAPTIVATING CREATIONS.

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