Art, Art History and Design, School of


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A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Fine Arts Major: Art Under the Supervision of Professor Santiago Cal Lincoln, Nebraska May, 2010


From Baa to Eye: Language as Images

Languages, as I understood, are the most direct confrontation of cultures because of their inherent culture iconicity. My approach to employ the English language as a subject matter is to interpret the culture it represents. I use language as a metaphor to address the boundary, the inadequacy, the longing, the contradiction, the adaptation, the curiosity, and the frustration that one encounters when different cultures clash. These clashes are valuable because they help me recognize and appreciate the differences, or in other words, the otherness. Otherness is a fundamental category of human thought. It can be identified physically, psychologically, spiritually, and culturally. Through this interpretation of otherness, I am actually interrogating and reinvesting in my own culture, as well.

Words can be the most direct means of sharing thoughts. Discovering the visual expressiveness of language as form has allowed me to articulate emotions and reflections that I am not vocally capable of. Utilizing a corridor-like structure in this exhibition is to provide an opportunity for viewers to be physically immersed in the installation. The incorporation of a vivid-red door and soft-white rope balls is to visually break the density of the matt-black walls. Conceptually, these objects add other aspects to the installation; they reference a goal, a destination that one hopes to reach after a long expedition. With all these elements, I intend to create a space to think, to interpret, and to observe information unfold. Walking along the walls of words is a journey to seek truth behind layers of meaning literally, visually and metaphorically. I attempt to encourage the viewer’s mental and physical willingness to navigate through an unfamiliar territory. In my mind, walking around the corridor where the ending is the beginning resonates with the deception I often face in life: I think I am at the finish, but instead I find myself back at the beginning with new findings yet to comprehend.

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