When tradition meets modernity: Tsinghua graduate works on show

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The Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University (AADTHU) has selected some of the best artworks and designs by its postgraduates who are sharing their vision and art with the world through the 2022 Online Graduation Exhibition. 

The AADTHU 2022 online graduation exhibition is currently underway. To view the online exhibition, visit https://exhibition.ad.tsinghua.edu.cn/2022/.

Wu Qian: “Growth Fades Away” (Department of Sculpture)

When tradition meets modernity: Tsinghua graduate works on show
Wu Qian, a postgraduate at AADTHU, poses with an artwork from her series “Growth Fades Away.” [Photo courtesy of AADTHU]

“My work draws on the growth of plants for creation,” said Wu Qian, a postgraduate at AADTHU who created her artworks under the supervision of mentor Chen Hui. Having studied an undergraduate degree in public art, moving into sculpture for her postgraduate studies proved a challenge. While admitting that she felt lost for some time, she then tried her best to learn more, ask more, and try more.

“Wu is a diligent and conscientious student. She had been struggling with not coming from a background in sculpture and so lacked somewhat in confidence. However, it’s this kind of interdisciplinary leap that enabled her to have more choices and creative freedom,” her mentor commented.

When tradition meets modernity: Tsinghua graduate works on show
An artwork in the series “Growth Fades Away” by Wu Qian. [Photo courtesy of AADTHU]

Wu shared her creative vision behind the “Growth Fades Away” series: “Plants are beautiful, so what will the irregular and virus-like forms created through transparent materials make people think? What could be behind the phantasm embodied by transparent materials? I want to explore the perception and thinking of individuals’ current life.”

When tradition meets modernity: Tsinghua graduate works on show
Wu Qian works on a sculpture. [Photo courtesy of AADTHU]

“I particularly love the application of materials in sculpture and the way of creating space. Plexiglass was the material for my undergraduate creative application. It has the crystal transparency of glass, and although it’s fragile, it has toughness and plasticity, so I wanted to continue exploring the expressive potential of this material in my creative work,” she added.

When tradition meets modernity: Tsinghua graduate works on show
Professor Chen Hui, Wu Qian’s supervisor, inspects the artworks during their creation. [Photo courtesy of AADTHU]

Through much practice, she learned how heating can change the shape of this material. Later she made a lot of prototypes, and finally decided to adopt the theme of plant modeling in her creation. Wu said “Growth Fades Away” encompasses her thoughts about time, space and life, quoting from an essay in “Until the Moss Grows” by renowned Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto: “I think true beauty is something that can pass the test of time.”

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