__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1


PAINTING


SCULPTURE ANIA GARCIA LLORENTE JENNIFER KILBURN CHANG WU


DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE This catalogue, the visual identity of the Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts MFA second year Thesis work, represents forty individual students and the interconnectivity between our three graduate programs in Painting, Sculpture, and Graphic Design. As you will read and see in these pages, each graduate program provides a distinct voice, ethos, and educational framework for its community. Throughout this past year, particular projects, courses, and collaborations across media—as well as social events—brought students together with each other and with larger arts communities. This includes the Tuesday Night MFA Lecture Series and other visits by important artists and designers. Visitors and faculty alike have modeled the significance of creative work in this complex era. As last year’s Venice Biennale offered to viewers, “May You Live in Interesting Times.” One of the Venice Biennale curators, Ralph Rugoff, wrote, “In contrast to journalism or historical reportage, art articulates a difference from the texture of facts” through an “assertion of form.” The material and conceptual decisions in creative work carry the potential for surprising readings that keep us looking and thinking beyond facts to the heart of the matter. As Chair of MFA Painting Josephine Halvorson said at her recent exhibition in New York, “Painting teaches us to think about complex things in complex ways.” The collected work in this catalogue assert many forms in complex but clear, meaningful, and intentional ways that open up feelings, questions, and new frames of mind. The works of artists and designers are often at their most powerful when they contain paradox, oppositions that should not function together but do, and in the holding together transform habitual ways of seeing and thinking. There is a tenuous but powerful holding together of presence and absence, near and far in our current time. The works and students represented in this catalogue are reframed by a larger cultural space beyond the typical context of studio and gallery. 2020 is a time of great flux. As David Snyder, Chair of MFA Sculpture notes in his program introduction, “it will be up to us to help nourish the culture, to offer the visionary possibility of hope and humor, and to be critically incisive in the face of apathy. Above all, it is the work of artists to ask the world to face and to recognize what is complex, difficult, painful, and willfully overlooked.”


In closing, I want to recognize and sincerely thank CFA leadership, SVA faculty and staff, and above all the MFA students for demonstrating an incredible commitment to carrying on our vital work. The Graphic Design branding team who designed this catalogue embodies this commitment to vision and communication. Thank you to Julian Parikh, Krystyn Wypasek, Winnie Chen, and Farinaz Valamanesh, working with the thoughtful leadership of Evan Smith, Media Coordinator. The work in the catalogue reflects the high level of dedication, teaching, and artistic mentorship by the professional artists and designers on the SVA faculty. My sincere thanks to professors Josephine Halvorson, David Snyder, and Kristen Coogan, as well as faculty Lucy Kim, Jaya Howey, Richard Ryan, Hugh O’Donnell, Marc Schepens, Won Ju Lim, Joshua Fischer, James Grady, Nick Rock, Yael Ort-Dinoor, Mary Yang, Christopher Field, Jessie Rubinstein, and Daniel Harding for their work with the graduate students. Thanks to Boston University Art Galleries Artistic Director Lynne Cooney and Managing Director Lissa Cramer who have helped prepare our students professionally. It has been inspiring to envision the form of future exhibitions and this catalogue with SVA staff who bring attention to detail to all that they do, including Gus Wheeler, Suzanne Hemmat, Brandon Cohen, Logen Zimmerman, and Jessica Caccamo. On behalf of the School of Visual Arts, I sincerely congratulate these graduating students and share my gratitude for the particular ways that each of you have transformed our community by your work and presence. Dana Clancy Director, School of Visual Arts


06

INTRODUCTION

30

ASHWINI ASHOK PATIL

08

IBRAHIM ALAZZA

32

JULIAN PARIKH

10

ANA BENFIELD

34

MARIANA RAMÍREZ

12

WEI YUN CHEN

14

XIQIAO CHEN

36

FARINAZ VALAMANESH

16

BAYLEE KIMBAR

38

WENQING WANG

18

ERDIAN GAO

40

YIZHEN WANG

20

YINGHSUAN LEE

42

KRYSTYN WYPASEK

22

SOPHIE SHUOFEI LI

44

XIWEN XU

24

JIAQIN LIAN

46

WEIQIAN ZHANG

26

ANISSA MARTÍNEZ

48

YILIN ZHANG

28

KELLY NICOLE NOLAN

50

SIZHI ZOU (CARA)

NAVARRETE


INTRODUCTION 2020 Thesis Schedule *subject to change* Little did we know the portent of this statement vis-à -vis the thesis schedule shared with students in early January. The MFA class of 2020 entered their final semester with guns blazing thanks to their spirited ambitions and fearless interrogations. Students built on an incredible fall semester of dedicated research and by early February articulated thesis statements incorporating rich theoretical contexts supported by personally driven visual and analytical methods. Only execution remained. And execute they did. Witty, experimental, intuitive, coded, political, interactive, human-natured, human-centered, hand-made, metaphysical, existential, random, healing, activist, protective, empowering, place-making, humorous, meditative, unbearably light, mindful, improvisational, and emotionally expressive concepts reflected the promise under development. Then, the germ bulged from our periphery squarely into focus. Undergraduate, graduate, and BU Academy classes‌will not meet in-person. We strongly advise that students who are not presently on campus do not return to campus‌The University will not hold any non-academic gatherings or meetings. What began as an incredibly rich thesis discourse became a Sisyphean effort to put one foot in front of the other when all felt defenseless and uncertain. The latter half of the semester challenged students and faculty in ways no one could have anticipated.

6

Graphic Design


This catalogue presents each student’s creative outcome. But more importantly, and what can’t be captured with ink or paper, is a process driven by massive perseverance, resilience, devotedness, encouragement and conviction. These theses not only demonstrate a student's ability to contribute to and expand the discipline within the institution and in myriad professional settings; but, what shines persistently and indelibly, however, are the unbelievable designers comprising the MFA Class of 2020. Farinaz, Ibrahim, Julian, Krystyn, Mariana, Weiqian, Wenqing, Winnie, Yilin, Yinghsuan, Yizhen, Kim, Ana, Anissa, Ashwini, Baylee, Erdian, Kelly, Shuofei, Sizhi, Xiqiao, Xiwen, With an overwhelmingly whole heart, I applaud each and every one of you. You did it. Kristen Coogan Associate Professor and Chair of Graduate Studies in Graphic Design


Red as Hope, 2019. Installation.

Continues Quest, 2019. Publication. 6 × 8 in.

IBRAHIM ALAZZA

8

Graphic Design


Footsteps (Tiles Book), 2019. Publication. 5.9 Ă— 5.9 in.

Curating the Palestinian narrative by exploring the collective memory of Palestine over the last 100 years. How have decades of conflict shaped the Palestinian collective memory, a story handed down from generation to generation? There are two Palestines: a war-torn, conflict-ridden country, and the Palestine I grew up in. This thesis explores the internal and external conflict’s impact on the Palestinian identity. By focusing on the experiences of Palestinians not captured in historical facts, I want to reveal a culture that represents struggle, resilience, and hope. Through symbolism, I relate historical moments and memorable artifacts cherished by Palestinians. Additionally, other creative expressions of the Palestinian narrative, such as the novella Returning to Haifa by Ghassan Kanafani, provide inspiration and depict a memory visualized through imagination.


We’ve Hit a Wall, 2019. Installation, eco-design.

ANA BENFIELD Design for social impact is the practice of finding opportunities for change that give voice to those who have been marginalized by design.

10

Graphic Design


"One voice gets lost in the multitude, but a thousand voices can travel through time." I am giving a voice to those who need it most. My thesis demands attention—it speaks loudly to those who would otherwise look away. For my thesis project I decided to find a problem in the community of Boston with the purpose of finding a solution. I partnered with the Friends of Boston Homeless to help activate change and give agency to the homeless community. In collaboration with the nonprofit organization, I created interactive platforms focused on support and self-awareness towards this matter. Through this series of small actions, I aspire to make a big difference. I am adding my voice to the many others that have inspired me, hoping others will join me. Design activates voices. Design creates a space for opinions. Design shapes perspectives. Design provides a platform to cultivate change. What action will you take?

Mother Nature Crimes, 2018. Catalogue and broadside.


WEI YUN CHEN If paper could represent who you are, what would it look like?

Smallest, 2018. Silkscreen. 2 × 3 in.

Persona Mask, 2019. Publication. 5.5 × 8.5 in.

12

Graphic Design


I love paper. I love publications. I love books. I think those things are the most powerful and meaningful thing in this world. Based on my personality and background, I always have difficulty expressing what I actually want to say and feel. Therefore, paper becomes the medium to carry the message to help me to communicate with others—either through handwriting or design. I use paper as a material to hold another layer of language, varying textures, colors, and thickness to provide a physical experience for my audience. Historically, paper used to be a medium meant to hold and deliver information from place to place; however, its application expanded—forcing me to rethink paper’s potential. Deft communication through people’s feelings provides information that people’s brains translate into thoughts and emotions. I used this idea to build up my own language system on paper.

A Light in the Moon, 2019. Stop motion. 8.5 × 11 in.


XIQIAO CHEN Design Taxonomy, 2019. Paper, wood, music box, glue, and tape. 3.5 × 15 × 1 in.

14

Graphic Design


Identity Poster, 2018. Paper, tape. 24 × 36 in.

Make Anything You Want Project, 2019. Paper, PLA, glue, and tape. 4 × 2.5 × 2 in.

Chaos, meaningless, interrupted... I use my thesis to seek out a way to disrupt the inertia behavior.

I am surrounded by chaos inside order—especially at my desk. I prefer to keep my desk clean and tidy. Organizing items and classifying books helps me focus. When working, my table is messy. But once I finish, I restore my table and bookshelf to its original tidy condition. This habit parallels my graphic design practice—chaos represents experimentation. Within that chaos is order, agency and control. Like jazz music composers, chaos becomes an avenue for improvisation and invention. Relying on a high musical standard, this source of innovation transcends all musical genres. I ask: ‘is jazz dying? Is graphic design dying?’ NO. My thesis explores chaos within a controlled system as a vehicle for innovation. We create and destroy disorder performatively until we reach creative fulfillment.


Music Streaming Data Tracker, 2019. UX Design.

Iconography Stamps, 2020. Wood. 2 × 2 in.

BAYLEE KIMBAR

16

Graphic Design


Biography Poster, 2018. Paper. 64 Ă— 44 in.

How can graphic design instill a sense of place in the face of dramatic flux? Change is difficult to navigate, especially in places we hold dearest. I lived in the same house, on the same street, in the same town, with the same people nearly my entire life. Growing up, West Boylston, Massachusetts felt like home because I was so well-acquainted with every detail in its seemingly unchanging landscape, but recently, moving away to a new city gave me a new perspective: whenever I return, I’m surprised to see the small town I knew and loved is changing—whether I want it to or not. Over the next decade, Allston, a neighborhood of Boston, will be subject to incredible change as Harvard expands and the Mass Pike is remodeled. Though these construction efforts will benefit Allston long-term, the lengthy and unsightly transition period destabilizes the community. As tensions rise between the past and the future of the neighborhood, I wonder how I, as a designer, can help the Allston community accept substantial change outside of their control. How can graphic design instill a sense of place in face of dramatic flux?


Taco Clutch, 2017. Fabric. 6 × 11 in.

ERDIAN GAO Attractiveness means a genuine personality. And when it comes to design, there’s one thing that helps us convey a personality—humor.

18

Graphic Design


Juxtaposition, 2020. Poster. 4 × 4 in.

Humor—a comic, absurd, or incongruous quality causing amusement. How can an incongruous quality create delight? Using graphic design as a lens to understand the mechanics of humor, I demonstrate this phenomenon of universal amusement. My method involves creating unexpected mixes and matches and visual puns as a vehicle for play. Design is not only functional but also fun. Synthesizing unexpected elements in surprising ways adds one more layer of legibility and suspends us cognitively. On one hand, you hear the word humor a lot, yet philosophers have little to say, and what they have said is largely critical. Humor challenges the audience to look beyond the juxtapositions to decode a second meaning. When a visual pun works—specifically, when two distinct entities merge to form one idea—the effect stimulates thought and sensation. Humor is something that helps us to reflect.


YINGHSUAN LEE I want to redefine those standards of success, beauty, and utility accepted by the majority, and further discover and underline hidden values that indirectly yet profoundly contribute to our well-being and happiness.

The Road Not Taken, 2019. Poster. 24 Ă— 35 in.

20

Graphic Design


The Enlightenment, 2019. Catalogue. 7 × 9 in.

Who decrees the standards of success, beauty, and utility? Existentialist philosophy dictates these norms, motivating me to question the status quo. Furthermore, Nietzsche said, “God is dead.” How can people discard the controlling power and discover individualized paths to personal satisfaction— self-awareness leads to self-fulfillment. Using graphic design, I want to redefine those standards of success, beauty, and utility accepted by the majority. I want to discover and underline hidden values that indirectly yet profoundly contribute to our well-being and happiness. In this thesis, I use everyday objects as a metaphor symbolizing humans—each of us is like an ordinary object that people seldom pay attention to. I magnify useless details, prompting us to reflect on our own personalities to discover latent beauties.

Self Portrait, Playful Me, 2019. Silkscreen. 15 × 19 in.


SOPHIE SHUOFEI LI Do you choose to bear the lightness of life or the weight of life? An installation using the crossbody pouch as a metaphor for emotional burden, described by its physical weight representing connection or detachment.

Imperfectly Perfect, 2020. Embroidery. 6 Ă— 4 in.

22

Graphic Design


Rotifer, 2019. 3D Printing.

SIGGRAPH ASIA 2022, 2019. Poster.

When I travel to the United States, I wear a small cross-body pouch—it’s fashionable and functional, adding an accessorizing layer as well as holding my bank card. I ask: is it annoying to constantly wear this pouch, even when function no longer exists? No. But it does add weight to me, like a small emotional burden. Likewise, there are many invisible burdens on our shoulders in daily life. I am using this cross-body pouch as a metaphor for emotional burden, described by its physical weight representing connection or detachment. I am also adding more coded messages through floral decorations. We all know flowers always represent positive meanings and convey best wishes, but these eight chosen flowers imbue negative or heavy feelings, suggesting our life is imperfectly perfect. The abstract Chinese embroidery patterns evoke myriad emotions, designed to imitate our surroundings.


JIAQIN LIAN Be strong but not hard. Be soft but not yielding. Dream, 2019. AR poster. 24 Ă— 36 in.

24

Graphic Design


Be strong but not hard. Be soft but not yielding. At one time or another, each of us has experienced verbal abuse, leaving us feeling attacked, whether on the Internet or in real life. It’s an all too easy offense to wage, happening time and time again. Rather than changing behavior, we should change consciousness. Be strong but not hard. Be soft but not yielding. Empathy = Forgiveness = Peace informs the structure of this thesis. I use irony to shift perspective on verbal abuse, juxtaposing audio and visual narratives: we see one story, but hear another. I want my design to deliver a positive attitude about verbal abuse.

Influence, 2019. Catalogue. 11 Ă— 17 in.

The Respond, 2019. Poster. 24 Ă— 36 in.


The Pandora Icosikaihenagon, 2018. Interactive Media. 22 × 30 in.

ANISSA MARTÍNEZ Through poetry, I will protect you by constructing into delicate, counted words everything that you have been through. intimacy witnessed through a conversation, words so beautiful and toxic, that breathe and whisper i don’t want to leave, kisses that deceive and manipulate our bodies distort our mind and split the heart into four, it’s humans they are guilty we are guilty, we hurt and we trick, we need to be protected absorbed, someone who helps us see reality away from illusion. 26

Graphic Design


Look Mom I Can Fly, 2019. Silkscreen. 15 Ă— 22 in.

This thesis shifts perspectives by immersing the viewer into a multichannel environment using visual antonyms and polarity. It explores psychological manipulation in a pure and obscure way engaging with truth and deceit from a poetic point of view. By breaking the stigma of vulnerability through exposure, the goal is for the audience to be able to relate, allowing them to feel safe and encouraged to rise using this platform within this time and space.

10-Eye, 2019. Interactive Media. 86 Ă— 94 in.


KELLY NICOLE NOLAN I am using my thesis to explore how my creative process can act as protest against the non-stop nature of our modern day world and as a platform to examine capitalist and technological pressures that fuel our 24/7 culture and lead to contemporary mental health issues such as burnout, malaise, and apathy.

Fueled by technology and capitalism, we’re living in a 24/7 environment that’s in a constant state of production and consumption, leading to contemporary mental health issues such as burnout, modern malaise, and apathy. Some have pointed to sleep as the one human need in complete conflict with capitalist systems. While sleep can be a strong defensive tactic, as a designer I feel a responsibility to take an offensive position and use my creative process as protest against the non-stop nature of our modern day world. My process involves long durations of time, chance, analog techniques, archiving and cataloging, collaboration, and the use of found objects. Through my thesis, I will use my process to hold a mirror up to our around-the-clock culture and explore the capitalist pressures that compel us to measure our self-worth in productivity and look to technology for validation and approval.

Prying Open My Third Eye, 2019. Silkscreen. 20 × 9 in.

28

Graphic Design


Design Taxonomy: How A Collection Of Loosely Associated Things Can Lead To A List Of Design Terms, 2019. Publication. 5.83 × 8.26 in.

All That Matters, 2019. Tracing paper and Smith Corona Typewriter. 120 × 12 in.


ASHWINI ASHOK PATIL

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ― Buckminster Fuller

#TouchKaroNAA and Cross Stitched Quote, 2020. Knitted yarn and cross stitching on cloth.

30

Graphic Design


Gender equality dominates our social consciousness. Despite its importance and ubiquity, some people continue to turn a blind eye and remain oblivious to the imbalance between men and women and the resulting oppression women suffer. This lack of understanding and shared perspective creates chaos. Graphic design can play a critical role in improving a woman’s circumstances—my thesis project aims to create awareness and embolden women to define necessary boundaries. The coronavirus pandemic has massively shaped the work I am doing, as individuals are urged to socially distance and to avoid contact with people and objects for fear of infection. I coopt this directive to safeguard and empower women. My messaging includes a hashtag, "#TouchKaroNaa" which means "DO NOT TOUCH ME." Ironically, it sounds strikingly similar to "corona" and insists that men should end unwelcome encounters.

#TouchKaroNAA, 2020. Knitted yarn.

In addition to the digital campaign, I am reaching women through the traditional medium of knitting. By recontextualizing the custom into a vehicle for change and empowerment, I hope to build a community of strong women, who can embrace their femininity, honor their talents, and stand strong. I want every women to understand that unwanted and unwarranted touching is “Not Okay."

Cross Stitched Quote, 2020. Cross stitching on cloth.


Dysphoria/Euphoria (detail), 2019. Publication. 7.25 × 10 in.

JULIAN PARIKH I approach graphic design from the perspective of a queer and transgender person. I’ve found the conversations in the design community around “queering” graphic design to be good starting points for me to think about my own methodology and intentions. I’ve recently focused on my own narrative of going through Hormone Replacement Therapy. Every time that I take testosterone, I am completing an action in which I am unsure of the outcome, but I continue to do so because of the potential for positive change. I’ve come to realize that in the context of design, risk and experimentation is exactly the same. Therefore, why not use variable outcome as a method for graphic design? The design community has gained so much from incorporating the queer ideology into their practice, so I want to use that ideology and way of making to give something back to the queer community. My thesis uses experimentation in graphic design to create imperfect vessels for storytelling, in order to support and uplift transgender communities who are experimenting, medically or not, with gender identity and expression. 32

Graphic Design


Moments in Movement, 2018. Digital print. 23.4 Ă— 33.1 in.

Dysphoria/Euphoria (detail), 2019. Publication. 7.25 Ă— 10 in.

As a transgender artist, I unapologetically embrace my identity and let it inform my work because it creates invaluable opportunities for community building, whether it be through sharing my own experiences, or the experiences of my community.


Darkness, 2019. Liquid composition. 23.4 × 33.1 in.

MARIANA RAMÍREZ NAVARRETE Intuition guides us through the most transcendental questions, deepening our understanding of the universe and helping us navigate life’s most difficult processes, including trauma, grief, and creativity itself.

34

Graphic Design


What does it mean to let go? Through difficult self-discovery, I asked this question time and time again. Looking for solace, I was drawn to the paranormal, exploring subjects that raised more wonder than fear. Shrouded by grief, creativity became my beacon. We’ve all been in this darkness; that desolate aftermath when our towers come crashing down. Slowly, we learn the way out is through the rubble, through facing future unknowns and haunting lapses of the past. We cut chords. We release our ghosts. We begin to heal. Letting Go, 2019. Liquid composition. 23.4 × 33.1 in.

A profound emptiness heightened my awareness of the universe. I listened to those voices long suppressed by time. Like an infant learning to walk, I finally surrendered to the process. Intuition guided me through grief and making, rendering the visceral forms in this work. Now, I share these fragments of my process; touching on what it means to heal and to create.

All That Matters, 2019. Conceptual tarot deck. 4 × 6 in. Set of 26.


FARINAZ VALAMANESH

Talk, 2019. Silkscreen. 21 × 15 in.

Graphic Design

36


Memories, 2018. Poster. 23.4 Ă— 33.1 in.

163 Hours, 2019. Publication. 4 Ă— 5 in.

Can a visual system bring awareness to the lack of the basic human right, freedom of speech? Freedom of speech is taken for granted in developed countries. However, I witnessed and experienced first hand the persecution bestowed on my Iranian community for merely expressing beliefs perceived as non-conforming to the norms dictated by the regime. For centuries, Iranian people often have hidden their true messages in layers of symbolism and metaphors to overcome the deep-rooted lack of freedom of speech. Coded languages are wide-spread in literature, art, and everyday speaking as a way to communicate messages while avoiding the consequences. I developed a coded visual system based on the abstract forms and traditional Persian motifs. Through these metaphors, I spotlight this important, enduring, and mostly ignored issue—one that many people in the world, including people of my country, are experiencing. My audience is invited to decode the messages, with the provided key, and help the silenced voices to be heard.


FUniverse_Within Time, 2019.

WENQING WANG 2009, 07, 05. The whole city is in grief, but we are strong—for this story I will create a design visual language to convey two sides of perspective: from an insider to the media.

38

Graphic Design


One Invisible Wall: why are we alone, Urumqi. The Xinjiang government blocked our internet for a whole year, severing our connection to the outer world, and every province in China. We couldn't text each other, we couldn’t go far away or have fun with our friends like we usually did. The indignation, the sadness—it’s still there after so many years. So many people saw their friends and family die in an instant. There are people still suffering from the trauma, still holding it back. What’s the insight? Why am I scared, why am I angry, why do I still feel scared today, why do I feel abandoned by my own country? My thesis uses graphic design as a vehicle exposing this political cover up, to tell my side of the truth. My work is critical of the media and arguing my side of belief: I ask "Why is the media trying to cover the news, why are they hiding?" I illustrate responses from a first-hand account, hoping the resulting narrative provides a source of comfort and healing to my community. I illustrate this topic from a more individual perspective, as an insider who has been through it. We are healing from trauma, we are united and we are strong.

Extreme Scale_Cycle of Subconscious, 2019.

Illustration, 2019. Silkscreen.


YIZHEN WANG My thesis aims to explore the randomness of formulation in systematic typeface design. Randomness occupies the space between control and chaos—poetic, serendipitous, respected, undiscovered. My thesis explores how degrees of randomness act on systematic typeface design. I employed three experimental techniques—nature, implements, and hands—to generate three corresponding typefaces. The resulting visual language and documentation reveals the connection and relationship between human and media. Moreover, the process outweighs the product, as each typeface reveals stories unique to its evolution and demonstrates varying degrees of control. The randomness found in these techniques and in the type designs reflect the poetry describing the design in our own selves.

50 Iterations, 2019. Bookmarks. 2 × 5 in.

40

Graphic Design


Personal Data, 2018. Poster and animation. 23.4 x 33.1 in.

Face of 808, 2018. Instant photos and cyanotype. 4.25 x 6 in.


KRYSTYN WYPASEK

42

Graphic Design

Disjointed, Messy, & Loud, 2019. Installation. 36 × 96 × 90 in.


We are alive in a world and time where we are simultaneously over-saturated with the possibilities for human connection and starving for it—I will use design to create physical and emotional spaces to facilitate positive moments of human connection. Human connection is vital to our existence and happiness comes from feeling connected to others; people who are willing to be open and vulnerable actually have a greater sense of love and belonging. But, an over-saturation of possibilities for connection through technology is actually contributing to a loneliness epidemic, which has been proven to be just as detrimental as other risk-factors, like obesity. There is a gray area where technology stops helping us and starts hurting us. I am using 3D data visualization as a physical exploration of storytelling through data; data that is coming from asking people how much technology plays into their closest relationships and how happy they are in those relationships. My audience will glean more subjective information from data that they can touch and hold rather than just read from paper. It becomes less about reading as it does about experiencing the data and connecting the audience to others through that experience.

Disjointed, Messy, & Loud, 2019. Installation. 36 Ă— 96 Ă— 90 in.

Floral Collage #2, 2019. Photography.


Untitled, 2019. Silkscreen. 12 Ă— 19 in.

XIWEN XU Joy. Love. Fear. Anger. Sadness. Surprise. When I suffered from depression, I felt nothing but the numbness of self-denial. Coming out of my depression, I acknowledged the depth of those feelings and felt alive knowing I had the capacity to experience such a range of deep emotion. I built an expanded arsenal of empathy and sensitivity. When I feel intensely, I am living. Feeling is critical to our existence. My thesis builds on my own experience, and invites users to acknowledge, capture and reflect their own emotions. My installation creates the space for an audience to expose and illuminate their interiors— whether joy, love, fear, anger, sadness, surprise. The interactive nature of my thesis presents an emotional fingerprint of memory and experience, articulating how emotional complexity binds us to each other and to ourselves. These experiences make us human. Accept all the emotions you have, live the colorful life you are in.

44

Graphic Design


XWX, 2019. Publication. 7 Ă— 7 in.

The interactive nature of my thesis presents an emotional fingerprint of memory and experience, articulating how emotional complexity binds us to each other and to ourselves, every emotion is valuable.

Memory Box, 2019. Installation. 40 Ă— 60 in.


WEIQIAN ZHANG This thesis is a designed, multi-perspective narrative frame for audiences to learn and explore their psychological self-awareness.

Crazy/Taxonomy, 2019. Poster in book. 8.5 Ă— 11 in.

46

Graphic Design


Obedience Experiment, 2019. Publication. 6.2 × 9.5 in.

As a pre-psychology student, I believe that self-awareness is an essential step of personal growth, especially for my peer audiences. I want to illuminate the importance of individual self-awareness through an examination of human nature throughout a long history of psychology, from fable to science. In this thesis, I explore a single theme expressed in multiple design layers: book, video, and interactive design. Books are the first design layer—most similar to a film revealed as stills, a flip-book or comic book, they relate detailed fables or scientific studies concerning human nature in psychology. Building on the books is the video—like a trailer—linking those detailed stories together. Finally, the interaction—the last layer of design. Based on art therapy and narrative therapy, the interaction provides an authentic experience in self-awareness.

Blue - Color Story, 2018. Projection on installation poster. 48 × 96 in.


YILIN ZHANG

Filter of Perspective, 2019. Cement. 2 Ă— 2 in.

How one story develops in several different parallel universes.

48

Graphic Design


The parallel universe theory is a system about making choices—when choices are made, the results manifest in parallel realties, diverging more profoundly as time passes. Fate, destiny, and agency set us on an individual path, positioning us in our own parallel universe alongside other souls traveling on their own journey. What path are you on? This thesis explores and visualizes

50 Posters, 2019. Book and poster. 4 × 5 in.

parallel universes. Several stories are presented, each unified by a common starting point. Beginning with a shared reality: Jack asked Mary accompany him to visit the 808 studio and he wanted to see if his hiding place still existed…... Authors were invited to develop their own conclusions and write stories that express limitless possible outcomes. Hidden desires, feelings and perceptions uncovered, we envision a different world, a larger world freed from rational organization. I hope my work inspires readers to occupy their own parallel universe.

50 Questions, 2019. Metal hoops, cotton string, and paper. 12 × 29 in.


Bobo meditating at Revere Beach, 2019. Digital image.

SIZHI ZOU (CARA) Mindfulness Meditation can help us balance our life and work, reduce stress, and allow us to focus on more meaningful and positive things. Being mindful, we do not need to sit cross-legged with a straight back. My thesis is to encourage my audience to practice mindful meditation in their daily life.

50

Graphic Design


What If We Have Parallel Worlds, 2018. Poster. 24 Ă— 33 in. each.

A lot of people are led by emotions, giving the body and the spirit a harmful burden. Mindfulness can help us better manage our emotions, focus our attention, and find ways to deal with stress, allowing us to learn more about ourselves, let go of self-centeredness, and give the people around us compassion and empathy. Mindfulness is not to deny or suppress but to feel one's inner physical feelings and to fully experience current emotions, thus creating a head space and dissolving emotional and physical pain. Once the mind is empty, it stops analyzing and judging, and we can find our motivations, desires, thoughts, and preferences in the present moment. The purpose of my thesis is to encourage more people to integrate mindful meditation into daily life. It is an exhibition that combines emotion, the five senses, experience design, and dialogue. This project provides the audience with an immersive mindful experience, including fragmented mindfulness training and keeping a mood journal.

Furball, 2020. Digital image.


54

INTRODUCTION

56

JANA BENITEZ

58

ANNA BERLIN

60

LIZA CLEMENT

62

HANA YILMA GODINE

64

YOAV HAINEBACH

66

KELLEY HARWOOD

68

MAGGIE KING

70

JULIAN MACMILLAN

72

MARJANEH M.

74

JOSH RICHARDS

76

MACK SIKORA

78

ALEX STERN

80

CHARLES SUGGS

82

MADISON VANDER ARK

84

DIANA LAURENCE WALSH


INTRODUCTION The class of 2020 includes fifteen artists working in the expanded field of painting. Using oil and acrylic paint, drawing, animation, papermaking, photography, casting, and even cultivating fungi—to name a handful of their processes—this group of artists has uniquely reimagined the materiality of painting in the twenty-first century. Thematically, their collective work also casts a wide net. Some are storytellers, visualizing histories that have been erased, picturing post-apocalyptic futures, or alluding to ancient symbols of life and language. Others prioritize sensation, using the mediumistic quality of painting to trace the edges of our interior and exterior worlds, rendering them tactile and proximate. A number of these artists are working in response to real-time events, making sense of rapidly changing political and social realities. Definitions and re-definitions of globalization, gender, humor, and health are inscribed on the surfaces of these artworks, graphically, and in full color. Painting, like certain other expressive forms, insists on a somewhat contradictory balance between solitude and sociality. Among fellow practitioners, there is a complete and unspoken understanding of the importance of “alone time” in the studio. Each artist has their own identity, their own proclivities and sensibilities, their own schedules and rhythms, their own ways of making decisions and not making others. This is what we call a practice, and it more often than not requires long periods of solitary reflection and experimentation. And yet, the resulting artwork is almost always meant to be experienced in the flesh. Indeed, the ethos of this program relies on in-person encounters—of the artwork, and of one another. This is how knowledge is produced. Students learn how to better articulate the complexity of art through their own sensory and intellectual grasp of what they see. And they learn how to communicate it to others, not through the anonymity of a screen, but face to face.

54

Painting


Through seminars, critiques, and lectures, our students have learned to map their artistic genealogies and lineages: the interests, ideas, and aesthetic affinities they share with artists past and present. All the while, the students have put down roots locally, growing together, invigorating and nurturing each other’s practices, and stabilizing art in a broader sense. So it is especially peculiar, and even cruel, to conclude this academic year in isolation. Because of Covid-19 we are separated from each other, quarantined in domestic spaces. As of this writing, it has been several weeks since we last saw one another in our beloved 808 studios. This challenging time is making us think in new ways about community, and what allows graduate art education, particularly in the expanded field of painting, to flourish. This time is also defined by the fear we all feel, by the constant waves of information that saturate our long, unstructured days. What does the future hold—for us, for those we love? These artists are seeking answers by making art. They are courageous, inquisitive, and hopeful in their dedication to making objects and images that bring us into contact with one another. These are qualities and ambitions that will see us all through. Josephine Halvorson Professor and Chair of Graduate Studies in Painting


JANA BENITEZ

Stay, 2019. Oil on canvas. 73 Ă— 60 in.

gestural abstract painting re-presenting somatic sensation and inner perception, exploring our bodies as temples, tuning forks, and portals into greater wisdom and collective consciousness 56

Painting


Blue Flowers, 2019. Acrylic on canvas. 48 × 30 in.

This body of work stems from my fascination with the human body and its relationship to consciousness. I investigate painting’s ability to depict different felt experiences and vibrational frequencies. Worlds within worlds emerge, compressing space and evoking simultaneity. Teetering on the edge of figuration, forms dwell in liminal states of emergence and transformation. Structure and order are in a constant state of breaking down and being rebuilt, getting swallowed up and rebirthing. A vertical line shoots up the center of the painting, doubling as a spine or axis. Like the keel of a vessel or the eye of a storm, it offers a space for anchoring and orientation. It celebrates our bilateral symmetry and reveals how the structure of our bodies shape how we experience the world. Like a visual mantra, the centerline also functions as a metaphor for staying centered: everything returns to the self, the body,

Shen, 2019. Acrylic on canvas. 48 × 30 in.

and the moment.


All Dogs Go To Heaven: Geography Chart, 2019. Mixed media.

ANNA BERLIN

: ) / : ( @nn@ B#rL!N xxx : D //// !

Painting

58


From Sea to Shining Sea, 2020. Mixed media on wood.

I often think about how to fall short in a painting. I adorn my paintings with glitter and ornaments but they also have sticker clouds and tiny thumbprints pressed into clay. The work shifts between being sweet and cartoon-like to sinister and irreverent. Astronauts are dying or becoming evil, the devil losing and regaining power from the astronaut, and my dog Bailey (RIP) somehow God. These things come from grappling with the news and politics, environmental issues, feminism, and my personal relationships. The use of my name boldly written on the surface, interesting in that Anna is a palindrome and Berlin a location, but also trying to claim ownership and space within the painted object and perhaps beyond it.

Self Portrait (Towel), 2020. Mixed media on towel.


LIZA CLEMENT The cyclical nature of my practice embodies the paradox between the enduring timelessness of art, and ideas of impermanence. It is a constant negotiation.

Ectosymbiotic Commensalistic Behavior (hybrid), 2019. Recycled plastic, soil, Miracle-Gro, fertilizer, reindeer moss (Cladina arbuscula), cup lichen (Cladonia pyxidata), mood moss (Dicranum Scoparium), reindeer lichen Cladonia rangiferina, bacterial growth, Areca Palm, dirt. 18 Ă— 25 Ă— 7 in.

60

Painting


My practice embodies states of transition and impermanence and explores the relationship humans have with the natural environment and our desire to control nature. In Darwinian fashion, my fascination with plant and animal ecosystems has to do with the utter sophistication of their functionality. My work deals with the presentation and postulation of the systems that exist in a biological framework and a fabricated one, specifically targeted to reveal the parts of these frameworks that are unseen or not readily revealed to humans. Through the collection and manipulation of these materials, my process entails speeding up certain naturally occurring processes and introducing materials that promote growth. I then utilize plastic, light, and heat to increase or decrease these reactions. They become collections of data reflective of the invisible world. Paintings acting as preservations, records, exaggerations, and reveries are created through observing these collections. They postulate the possibility of hybrid organisms; acting as a framework for interspecies collaborations and an homage to a fascination with ecological phenomena as it progresses in the world’s current Anthropocene state.

FLY GLUE-PIT TRAP (missing: Venus), 2019. Plastic, flies (Drosophila melanogaster, Muscidae) moth, silkworm, soil (with fertilizer), Hunter’s Fly Glue-Pit, echinacea, mold, chicory root, staples, canvas. 18 × 13 × 2 in.

Slide 2 (Primordial Sludge), 2019. Oil stick and yupo on panel. 60 × 48 × 1.5 in.


Spaces Within Space, 2020. Oil, acrylic, collage on canvas. 70 × 60 in.

Spaces Within Space, 2019. Oil, acrylic, collage, charcoal on canvas. 51 × 60 in.

HANA YILMA GODINE

62

Painting


Spaces Within Space, 2019. Oil on panel. 28 x 30 in.

The movement of time in spaces and places create its own novel of time. As a painter, I pay attention to the commonalities between people and the relationships they have with their environments. I think about painting as a space that mediates time and place, bringing together people from a globalized world, and reconciling the past, present, and future into one unified form. Figures are central to my compositions. Their colorful, transparent, and collaged surfaces suggest embedded histories and embodied feelings. My practice has long focused onwomen— their bodies, as well as their social and societal roles. I use color in a psychological and symbolic way to describe light as it passes from canvas to canvas and conveys specific moments and times. Working with a spectrum of transparency and opacity, I communicate the sensations of an environment such as atmosphere, air, wind, and speed, all of which evoke the flow and movement of life.


Light, Moon, 2019. Aquatint etching on paper. 6.5 Ă— 9 in.

YOAV HAINEBACH I work on paper using painting, drawing, and printmaking to explore the space between reference and its abstraction. 64

Painting


I work on paper using painting, drawing, and printmaking to explore the space between reference and its abstraction. Using deliberately minimal visual language and mark-making, my work refers to landscape, yet avoids becoming a specific site. The non-specificity of my landscapes is tangential to issues of diaspora and displacement­—made apparent through the materialization of compression and linear/non-linear time theories. The ground the work is situated on, paper, is mobile in and of itself. In this way, the work is literally grounded in mobility. The temporality and economy of paper's state of being serves my personal drive and constriction, both literally and theoretically. By contending with the history of landscape and place, translation and language, my use of paper in my practice sits comfortably with its reference to the printed word, as well as diaspora and mobility.

Two moons, 2020. Etching spray paint and mica powder on paper. 8 × 11 in.

Shesh-besh (Unfinished match), 2020. Charcoal on paper. 30 × 20 in.


KELLEY HARWOOD Is it possible to draw the past? I try to observe the unobservable. I make visible what I perceive, collect, research, and interpret about a specific place. Currently, my practice employs methods of traditional observational drawing, and site-responsive strategies such as mining photographs, collecting oral histories, and researching local sources. After researching and experiencing a place, I begin a work based on a central idea or image and the impulse to make a drawing or series of drawings. The observed space then becomes a dreamspace, a starting place for me to invent and remember. My work foregrounds my subjectivity—my curiosity about the past in an anthropological sense, my desire to connect with the recent and distant past in an idiosyncratic way, and my embodied experience of the physical place. I respond to what is happening in the place now, what has happened in the past, and where I see the past and present overlap.

Studio Life 3

66

Painting


Studio Life 2

Studio Life 1


MAGGIE KING

Garden Party, 2019. Mixed media on panel. 23.25 Ă— 84 in.

Visual phenomena like space, color, light, and material have endless potential to translate material sensations into psychological states. I do everything I can in my studio to harness the inherent vitality of the materiality of painting. I use a variety of reflective and matte materials: glass beads, interference paint, shiny stained wood, enamel, pouring medium, homemade gesso, and cellulose paint. Light activates surfaces and creates shifting color and spatial relationships. This retinal flux imbues the objects with a kind of otherworldly agency; they act as thresholds from one space to another space. This kind of material animation can mirror the spectacle of femininity, the complex performance of gender, and act as a space to investigate huge questions about perception and what it means to be human and have a body. These spaces are feminine spaces. They track my relationship with notions of mystical femininity and how these notions intersect with fetishized gender roles. Through the creation of personal codes for fetishized gender roles, I create new notions of mystical femininity that re-instill the feminine body, and my body with agency.

68

Painting


GameHendge, 2019. Mixed media on panel. 47 Ă— 63 in.

Through material means and retinal effects, I create otherworldly spaces and scenes in my paintings that investigate notions of the mystical feminine.

Rainbow Room, 2019. Mixed media on panel. 33.5 Ă— 44.5 in.


Tablet (Cursive), 2019. Styrofoam, acrylic, ink. 36 × 24 × 2 in.

JULIAN MACMILLAN Art is leisure which is really labor, labor which is pleasure, knowledge which is actually joy and is not knowledge, is un-knowledge.

70

Painting


My practice is a process of learning through play and production. I am curious about the sacred and the profane. My work is physical and pictorial. I move freely between drawing, photography, printmaking and sculptural techniques to complicate the distinctions between objects and images. I am attracted to the highly graphic for its relationality to writing, which I think belies its emphasis and clarity. I make work which inhabits multiple temporalities; which locates

PsychoPomp, 2020. Gravel, concrete, pigment, aquarium pebbles. Dimensions variable.

its sentience in things long forgotten or possibilities yet to be discovered; which renders the contemporary and its preoccupations strange. I want to work at the scale of my own body. I want viewers to be aware of their bodies as they encounter my work. I have a twin brother. From this strange state of affairs, new, relational visualities can materialize. I am not concerned with what is real. Somebody show me this real thing.

Hot to the Touch (Aft), 2020. Styrofoam, acrylic, ink, photographs, epoxy resin. 70 Ă— 60 Ă— 50 in.


MARJANEH M. Untitled , 2019. Photography. 11 × 14 in.

Untitled , 2019. Photography. 3 ×3 in.

72

Painting


Untitled, 2019. Photography. 8 Ă— 10 in.

Using curvilinear forms, circular spaces and shapes seen in the natural environment, I create pieces that highlight the organic complexities within and around us, while translating the results in and through different media. Clay records the movement of my hands and the impressions of my surroundings. I love the way it feels in my hands, how it is alive, from the earth, thus readily available on all continents and an ancient medium. I fire my clay pieces, solidifying their forms, then I capture their shadows in photographic prints with a process that is as old as photography itself. The translation that takes place between media is of interest to me. The impressions left on the photo paper are a result of contact and proximity, as well as a play of light and chemicals upon slippery surfaces. In the end, an art piece is created that represents not only my hand, as the creator, but also the innate energy and agency of clay upon the final medium that welcomes and receives it.


JOSH RICHARDS

Influenced by movements such as Supports/Surfaces, Arte Povera, and Mono-Ha, my work is driven by process, material, and experimentation. Some pieces test the physical limitations of paint, some are the result of process, and others are the tools or remnants of those processes.

Golden Rod, 2019. Acrylic house paint. 2 Ă— 6 shims, Duct Tape, and screws. 26 Ă— 45 in.

74

Painting


Rose Petal (detail), 2019. Acrylic house paint, 2 × 6 shims, painters tape, and screws. 11.5 × 18.5 in.

Rose Petal, 2019. Acrylic house paint. 2 × 6 shims, painters tape, and screws. 11.5 × 18.5 in.

My current work involves pouring paint onto found, discarded, and built surfaces which provide a barrier for the liquid to solidify and sustain a form that references and reflects the tool used to create it. Although transformed with slight manipulations, the paint still exists as itself while also providing its own support, acting as an implied canvas. By using house paint I am also subverting product intentionality and challenging the purpose or intended use of material. Rather than using the paint to cover the surface of a wall it becomes the object of observation, thereby elevating the status of the object and the way viewers perceive it. The works evoke both manufacturing and craft, while the materials used to construct these objects form an interdependence. The liquid paint once held in place by tape and wood becomes one; cured and removed from the surface with only the congealed object to consider.


MACK SIKORA

76

Painting


It’s Okay, I’ve Compartmentalized U, 2019. Acrylic and Flashe on board (polyptych). 49 × 75 in.

Fucks at Dusk, 2019. Acrylic and Flashe on board. 22 × 28 in.

So do you love me yet? My paintings are shallow. They love themselves. They love me more than you ever could. They’re not interested in giving you space to move around in, nor are they interested in providing a clear view of what life could be like without the limitations they represent. Oh they’ll tease you with it though. My work pokes fun at the shallowness of our own perceptions. While the work may imply a vastness of pictorial space, from a shifted perspective, their illusion crumbles. They are just paint on a flat surface. They are a façade of depth, a mask of complexity, a performance of seduction. They are swiping right on a catfish. Painting has become a secure yet powerfully vulnerable void for me to whine into and as such, these paintings are a cry for love. So do you love me yet? Let’s drink a Hot Toddy and talk about it!

Self Portrait in Blue, 2019. Acrylic, Flashe, canvas, adhesive, wood, and metal frame. 25 × 33 × 24 in. Pictured in front of, I Told My Grandma About You, 2019. Acrylic and Flashe on canvas. 5 × 7 ft.


Valence, 2019. Oil on canvas. 79 Ă— 65 in.

ALEX STERN The cross-examination of art historical content and contemporary culture by my personal philosophical perspective yields a resonance of ideas from varied perspectives. Paintings are a hybrid plane where psychology and materiality weave a layered composite.

78

Painting


Making paintings is a prayer-like practice, meditating on the unknown known, the unnamable—a transformative space where the subjective converts to the objective— All while contributing and participating in a discourse that spans a wider continuum of time and history. While I approach the work with specific socio-political questions in mind, my practice includes an openness and freedom to undo or shift my original intentions. By relinquishing partial control, I allow the media to inform new and evolving inquiry and, in turn, varied opticality. Self-argument and material-argument work in unison to reject certainty while arriving at a dynamic yet finished facture. It is this process, and a disciplined life routine outside of the studio, coupled with a complex reckoning with personal history, that defines my practice.

Meat Grinder, 2019. Oil on canvas. 111.5 × 66.5 in.

Reward, 2019. Oil, photo-transfer on aluminum on canvas. 87.5 × 68 in.


CHARLES SUGGS I leave erasure marks and detritus as an homage to the erased histories that I study. My goal is to personalize this style so that it combines my own learning experience with the discovery of hidden narratives. My work is about aspects of history buried away by the power dynamics that were threatened by them. I find examples of this through various forms, usually a story written about a different subject entirely, yet a side story within it will capture my attention. I revisit these erased moments, and compare how they are related to contemporary events. These different timelines interact with one another, with the ghost of the past haunting the actions of the present. I explore this by using various media compiled for output through video. This process allows me to show multiple forms of information gathering and research that go into the overall product. I use graphite, oil paint and film, combined with photographs and other non-animated videos, to obtain various effects and perspectives for the finished piece.

Caution, frames from "Shadrach," 2020. Pencil drawings, video.

80

Painting


Montreal, frame from the video "Shadrach," 2020. Procreate drawings, video.

Ripples, frame from "Shubuta," 2019. Animation.


MADISON VANDER ARK My paintings and installations attend to my physical understanding of the world and investigate the bleak, austere sites I encounter every day, while inviting the viewer to imagine the possibilities that lie within. I am about to go deep-sea diving. They have erected a vast tank of water on land next to the Mediterranean Sea. I strap oxygen to my back and descend into this tank. I go all the way to the bottom. Here, there is a cluster of blue lights shining on the entrance to a tunnel. I enter the tunnel. The tunnel will lead into the Mediterranean. I swim and swim. At the far end of the tunnel, I see more lights, white ones. When I have passed through the lights, I come out of the tunnel, suddenly, into the open sea, which drops away beneath me a full kilometer or more. There are fish all around and above me, and reefs on all sides. I think I am flying, over the deep. I forget, for now, that I must be careful not to get lost, but must find my way back to the mouth of the tunnel. /Lydia Davis /edited

Veiled Genie, 2019. Oil on panel. 82 Ă— 104 in.

82

Painting


Candy-cane Façade (detail), 2019. Oil on panel. 72 × 24 in.

Candy-cane Façade, 2019. Oil on panel. 72 × 24 in.


DIANA LAURENCE WALSH I work collaboratively as a visual artist to create process-based installations which employ rituals, labor and rules to explore the structuring of biopolitical identities and classes.

Video stills of performance during installation Hier, in collaboration with Corinna D’Schoto, v. Berlin, Germany. Installation and performance during residency in Prenzlauer Studios, using handmade books, paper, waxed binding thread, pins, and cardboard bedroom furniture.

84

Painting


I work across fields of painting, sculpture, and installation, with a focused investigation of deviant behavior, labor, class dynamics, and gender identities. I am particularly invested in papermaking and papercasting as a means to explore accumulation and ephemera in process-based practices. I am engaged with how these topics are informed by differences between individual, familial, and cultural memory—therefore: folklore and storytelling are integral parts of this process. Time based media like bookmaking and projection help direct the use of narrative in visual outcomes. As I create, obey, disobey, and inevitably rewrite the parameters of my projects, rituals, routines, and rules both structure and rupture my practice. As a result, documentation and ephemera often play a more crucial role than a final commodity. Collaboration is a critical way I think through my practice. Reaching out to interdisciplinary artists and maintaining long-term collaborations area gro-unding force in how Artist books, top to bottom: installation shot of keys for books featured in grisp, re-reconciliation unlocked with spread parts, and a locked version of imcomex, 2019. Single editions of artist books using various fiber materials, wood, padlocks and keys.

I identify as a maker within a larger conversation.

Installation shot of sheer[mir]ror, in collaboration with Madison Vander Ark, 2020. PVC piping, sheer fabric, blackout fabric, safety pins, chicken wire, flora debris from the Charles River, discarded paper, wheat paste, spray paint, one-way mirrors and discarded wood studs.


88

INTRODUCTION

90

ANIA GARCIA LLORENTE

92

JENNIFER KILBURN

94

CHANG WU


INTRODUCTION This semester, three artists will be graduating with an MFA in Sculpture from BU: Ania Garcia-Llorente, Jennifer Kilburn, and Chang Wu. These three have contributed immensely to the evolving conversation at the heart of our curriculum—through their extraordinary creative work, through their generosity and mutual support, their wit, and their willingness to offer and accept both criticism and dissent. In light of all that they have contributed to our program, it is important to acknowledge the significant challenges they have had to face as a result of our current global crisis, particularly as artists whose creative process depends so much upon the conditions of physical space and the materiality of experience. Yet the work of these three students exemplifies an approach to the practice of art that is as adaptable as it is sensitive to the conditions of its production. Their creative concerns are quite distinctive, and yet their work—in all of its varied forms— asks us to reconsider our context, both as individuals and as active participants in the formation of the shared space of culture. Ania—who works between installation (using specific found and constructed objects), performance, video, text, and image-making— implements rigorous and often absurd organizational systems that satirize relationships between institutional bureaucracy and alienated labor. Chang’s inquiry into physical and social phenomena (as wide-ranging as earthquakes, interactions between light and sound waves, and the nature of written and spoken language) offers pragmatic, poetic, and humorous points of reflection on subjective perception and collective experience. Jennifer’s research has led to the construction of elaborate, sometimes immersive and overwhelming installations that verge on synesthetic overload. Within these works, she integrates aspects of personal narrative with a consistent (and somewhat prescient) concern with systemic failure and man-made disaster.

88

Sculpture


An old, local adage (no doubt inspired by envy) has it that, for art at BU, the “BU” stands for “big and ugly.” I like to think that this reflects our students’ relative comfort with mess, their enthusiastic engagement with process, their interest in working with materials and making real things, their prodigious productivity and willingness to take risks. Added to this, I think that the immediate challenges facing us now are both big and ugly, and I believe that our students’ work can and will confront the realities of this volatile, uncertain time. As artists, so much of what we do depends on our ability to productively encounter the inevitability of change. In fact, a substantial part of creative practice entails the provocation of change, through the sensitive and critical re-evaluation of those forms and ideas that we most readily take for granted. And as the chaotic terms of our new global context become apparent, it will be up to us to help nourish the culture, to offer the visionary possibility of hope and humor, and to be critically incisive in the face of apathy. Above all, it is the work of artists to ask the world to face and to recognize what is complex, difficult, painful, and willfully overlooked. For Ania, Chang, and Jennifer, these priorities are already in practice. May they continue to face that which is big and ugly. David Snyder Assistant Professor and Chair of Graduate Studies in Sculpture


ANIA GARCIA LLORENTE

Sliding boxes, 2019. Video. 01:56. Screensavers, 2019. Installation. Variable dimensions.

90

Sculpture


1: i register systems of work that produce satisfaction and exploitation at the same time 2: i am interested in the collective process in which images are legitimized by repetition, connective systematization, translation to different media loop 1 and 2 1 + 2 = 3 = the logical-unreal elements of my work: A: anchoring points P: points of return S: successives alternations of activities A2: Art ?=? economy + language = ecolanoguamyge MSMG: manipulation of personal simple mechanized gestures where the recognition of the material source and the fabrication process is an important part of them G: geometry RAICR: rational alternation of different ideal constructs of reality DC: dominant culture S: survive! MSMG needs G because of how DC dictates our imagination what happens in the art-experience as an agent of alternation between systems of activities? how does the mind become open to take in a new structure of reality? mamilia-groff.com/ ? –> Go back to 1:

Finished Product, 2018. Sculpture. 18 × 18 × 8.5 in.


JENNIFER KILBURN Life is a series of countdowns and the grad school one just ended. The next countdown just began. This is one-hundred and fifty words or less wherein Jennifer Kilburn is going to say something meaningful, and make connections to the social, political, and contemporary art world that can clearly be seen in her work. She's going to make a statement that sums up everything she learned about her artistic practice in grad school. She will make a justification for being here today and taking up two pages in this catalogue, and two years in the MFA Sculpture program at Boston University. She's going to think back on these words in the future and realize, “This was the moment that I finally figured out what to say about my work.” These words will age incredibly well as her art career matures. She doesn't even need one-hundred and fifty words. Just condense that to five. Four is probably enough. How about three? Now two. One.

Still From Muncă, 2019. 2 video projections, 1 audio work, as many paper cats as necessary. Dimensions variable.

92

Sculpture


Abduction, 2019. Foam board, polystyrene sheets, wood, paint, dirt, AstroTurf carpeting, 1 Video projection. Dimensions variable.

Beehive, 2018. 10 television monitors, 4 video works, 6 static feeds. 5 x 5 x 7 ft.


CHANG WU

94

Sculpture


Chang Wu's work attempts to explore the boundary between subjective space and objective space from the perspective of space perception. The inscape of space, such as orientation, size, depth, and movement, are usually regarded as objective existence, but in fact, these elements are "unrealistic" which are prior to objective things. The texture of space always changes with people's attention, mood, and other factors. This is particularly evident in the spaces of schizophrenics, drug users, and dreams. The world that people perceive is composed of the superposition of subjective-space and objective-space. The limitation of people's senses leads to this boundary. The numb non-sensitive senses of humans make the subjective and objective space can never perfectly coincide. When we see some unexpected or unfamiliar phenomena, the objective-space based on reality changes at the same time. The subjective-space, however, is constructed from humans’ experience, and it cannot respond immediately to these phenomena, so it remains the same. I classify these moments as the detachment of objective and subjective space. I'm very interested in these moments of cognitive collapse.


About Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts prepares students to think seriously, to see critically, to make intensely, and to act with creative agency in the contemporary world. The School of Visual Arts merges the intensive studio education of an art school with the opportunities of a large urban university, and is committed to educating the eye, hand, and mind of the artist. With rigorous graduate and undergraduate fine arts programs that are rooted in studio practice, School of Visual Arts provides highly motivated students with programs in the bedrock disciplines of the fine arts coupled with a vast array of electives and liberal arts opportunities. Established in 1954, Boston University College of Fine Arts (CFA) is a community of artistscholars and scholar-artists who are passionate about the fine and performing arts, committed to diversity and inclusion, and determined to improve the lives of others through art. With programs in Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts, CFA prepares students for a meaningful creative life by developing their intellectual capacity to create art, shift perspective, think broadly, and master relevant 21st century skills. CFA offers a wide array of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs, as well as a range of online degrees and certificates. Learn more at bu.edu/cfa. Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 33,000 students, it is the fourth–largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 16 schools and colleges, along with a number of multi- disciplinary centers and institutes integral to the University’s research and teaching mission. In 2012, BU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. Learn more at bu.edu.

Printed by Kirkwood Designed by Wei Yun Chen, Julian Parikh, Farinaz Valamanesh, and Krystyn Wypasek Set in Fairy (Narrow, Fishy, and Chunky weights), Tisa Pro, and Tisa Sans Š 2020


98

Graphic Design

Profile for Boston University College of Fine Arts

2020 MFA Thesis Catalogue | BU College of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts  

Featuring work from 2020 MFA candidates in Graphic Design, Painting, and Sculpture at Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Visua...

2020 MFA Thesis Catalogue | BU College of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts  

Featuring work from 2020 MFA candidates in Graphic Design, Painting, and Sculpture at Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Visua...

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded