RIUTTA – Dongyi Wu — ”Where is the abandoned salmon strip?” 12.3.2020-4.4.2020

Dongyi Wu – ”Where is the abandoned salmon strip?”
Taidekeskus Itä
Valtakatu 66, Lappeenranta

ti-pe 11-17
la 11-14

Avajaiset / Opening 11.3. klo 18-20!

Artist Statement for ”Where is the abandoned salmon strip?”
Dongyi Wu

”Where is the abandoned salmon strip?” exhibit my series works that created between 2017 and 2020.
The inspiration for this series comes from the first three chapters of a famous Japanese Novel No Longer Human. This is a novel that narrated in the first person, which many believe the book to have been the writer’s will. The first three chapters of No Longer Human are told in the form of notebooks left by one Ōba Yōzō. The story chronicles the miserable and despairing life stories of Ōba from his early childhood to his late twenties. It seems to be his personal character that causes his tragedy: he was scared of those ”normal people” who surround him who actually live in egoism, which makes him feel early impossible to understand. In this case, he became a troubled man incapable of revealing his true self to others, and who, instead, maintains a facade of hollow jocularity to try to survive in the society that made him feel scared. However, by the end of the final chapter, an interesting sentence was mentioned by the landlady who knew Ōba: ”the Yōzō we knew was so easy-going and amusing, and if only he hadn’t drunk—no, even though he did drink—he was a good boy, an angel.” Coincidentally, I also find his sensitive, pure, and wise soul that was hidden by his struggling and despairing statement. These make me ask if the tragedy happened only because of the personality of Ōba Yōzō? I image his lively soul as a fresh salmon strip, which is very similar to the well-decorated salmon strips that we have in an expensive restaurant, but is now abandoned at a gross and dirty corner. Many people pass by, but no one is trying to pay attention to it. However, people might say it is just a particular case. But have you, others, or I ever abandoned part of us to obtain the stuff we desire? Have you, others, or I played a role to be the passerby who ignores the existence of the salmon strip? This is the motivation for me to create the series of works. I hope it could remind us of the things abandoned by us might be pure and precious. When living like ”normal people” who are getting egoistic can satisfy us, it might be the point that we should stop and find the stuff that abandoned by us.

In the series of works, I created three typical scenes in our lives: park, beach, and street view, which all usually have a great number of visitors. According to the scenes that were created, the series can be further divided into three groups, which are ”grass, rocks and garden,” ”sand, toys and beach,” and ”sewer, trash, and street.” (The works titled ”No Longer Human” are the older works finished in 2017). Salmon strips represent the young man’s soul or the precious parts that abandoned by people. There are lots of passersby around park, beach, and streets, but none of them notice the salmon they have been ignored. Salmon strips lay on the ground silently. They may turn bad as time goes by. The only things companies with them are stones, abandoned toys, sewers, and trash. It is worth mentioning that I have created an upward perspective for my works. Through showing the upward angle, I want to present the view of salmon strips: stones, toys, or trash that closed to them look even larger than people; and the photos of sky and passersby showing the only thing they can watch when they are abandoned on the ground. Also, there are lots of photos arranged on ”sand, toys, and beach” in a reverse way. The photos with reversed sea and sky also present the perspective from salmon strips, which were lying on the beach and watching the sea and sky for a long time.

My works span across wearable art, sculpture, fashion art, and conceptual installation. As an artist, exploring and recording types of emotions is always essential for my art. I believe that emotions are one of the important driving powers that provide people with real motivation for their behavior. Observing the different types of emotions through my experiences, literary works, and some research on psychology, I find that I am especially interested in the emotions that express the delicate and intensive feelings but also mostly hidden or ignored by people. I liken myself as a storyteller to narrate those life scenes seem to be trivial and common, but it actually can express strong, intensive, and genuine emotions.

I was born and raised in China. I hold my Bachelor’s degree at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology in China and my master’s degree at Rochester Institute of Technology in the United States. I am currently living and working in San Antonio, TX, United States of America.

I have my works shown worldwide, including three solo shows in different areas of United States, and group shows such as Schmuck 2018 in Munich, Germany; XII Florence Biennale in Italy; Beijing International Jewelry Exhibition in China. I was one of the winners for Preziosa Young in Italy in 2020, finalists for the Lydon Emerging Artist Program (LEAP) in the United States in 2019, and finalists for the ENJOIA’T 2017 Contemporary Jewellery Award in Spain in 2017. I was chosen to speak at the 48th annual Society of North American Goldsmiths conference in Chicago as an Early Career Artist in 2019. My artworks also have been featured in many publications, such as New Brooches by Estrada, Nicolas; Autor Magazine #5 and #6; Chinese Contemporary Jewelry Design by Bifei Cao, available in September 2020.

Dongyi Wu