Posted in Stories About Zora and Holly

Lin Daiyu and Xue Baochai (Soft Sculpture)

The Origin of the Creation of The Story of the Stone

When I was young, the reason why I loved reading The Story of the Stone, for it’s a very beautiful book. The novel told a group of girls with both beauty and talent but they had different personalities. However, when I get older, I realised that maybe “the darkest base” gave the girls more brilliant. It seems that all the good has a tragic ending, and all the eternal thing has a short life. Also, the missing of latter 40 chapters of the novel adds more artistic charm to it, like Venus de Milo has no arms but no one can deny it’s a classical artwork. Many years later, the more I read it, the more beautiful I find it is; the deeper I read it, the greater impressive it gives me; the more careful I read it, the more helpless I feel it. The author described a very beautiful and poetic female world with a unique writing technique. In this bit of the purist universe, from flowing water and fallen flowers to a group of young girls in the Grand View Garden (where was the exclusive residence for the ladies), all of beauty you can see that was fleeting.

Unlike the philosophy of approving the survive that we are familiar with, all of prosperous, bright or appealing parts were mentioned by the book were as if they were flickering stars that couldn’t run away from the edge of the dark night. The death had used to be a taboo subject, but it was throughout the novel as the darkest backdrop to The Beauty of the Soul. It’s just like the way of special narrative of the novel, the distinctive feature of The Story of the Stone is neither to tell a sad and beautiful love story, nor an encyclopedia which listed Chinese history and culture, but it was an autobiography from a soul. As artists, in front of such a soul work, we’d like to devote ourselves to creating these beautiful girls, even if only for the aesthetic we resonated with the novel.

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The Creative Impulse Is the Most Important

The Story of the Stone was the first group of art dolls we created. Before that, we had only created bas-reliefs which are wall hangings. However, I yearned for seeing a real three-dimension sculpture which would be more impressive than base-reliefs. So my talented mother finally agreed to try such a 3D art form under my great encouragement. Normally we shouldn’t have explored a new art form with the subject that we loved the best like The Story of the Stone, but both of us think that creative impulse and passion are far more important than techniques. An artwork without passion couldn’t touch people and it would be forgotten at all no matter the techniques how perfect they would be. Actually, the fact proved that our decision was right. It’s been several years so far, but they are still our favorite works. Although our experience was not enough and parts were not very perfectly in techniques, we both knew that if we did it again, techniques would be more and more perfect of course, the most impressive part of the artworks would be hard to express without the artists’ initial passion and expectation.

Certainly, there are 12 pieces of the set, and the most important figures, Lin Daiyu and Xue Baochai, were created at the last, for each of figure was finished with one breath after going through it for a long time. Especially for Lin Daiyu who was the soul of the book, I can say without exaggeration that we hardly dared breathe during the whole creation so as not to blow her away.

黛玉1Lin Daiyu (Part)

宝钗1Xue Baochai (Part)

The Classic is Always Controversial

Although The Story of the Stone has been published over 400 years, Lin Daiyu as the heroine of the novel is still a controversial role. I think no one wouldn’t love her, but they might not understand her, just as no one would deny Xue Baochai’s sophisticated talent, but perhaps they don’t agree with her “Philosophy of Existence”. Lin Daiyu and Xue Baochai are considered not so much talented girls with entirely different personalities as they actually represent the complete opposite of values — Being and Existence. Lin Daiyu could get rid of the fetter of the death to despise the so-called rules of survival with an independent attitude of freedom for seeking the Truth, and Xue Baochai strove to prove the Death is nothingness but even gave up the right of freedom to make herself to be a model of virtues for protecting herself and her family’s safety. Lin Daiyu brought readers a beauty which is not only impressive but it’s also precious. However, there was only a sigh while Xue Baochai sacrificed the beauty for the cruel reality.

宝钗4Xue Baochai

Someone said that Xue Baochai was the final winner. I’m sure of that he made such a conclusion what he wanted from the standpoint of the Existence. Personally, I prefer Lin Daiyu because my personal values are inclined to independent and freedom, and I even totally denied Xue Baochai for a long time. It’s like some who seek truth cannot stand all of lies and false hopes, and those who have to lie and employ trickery also hate the ones who take everything too seriously never understand a feeling of lifes helplessness. Whatever our values incline to be, as a human, Being and Existence are impossible separated in life. The greatness of The Story of the Stone is that it actually tells a story which is no winner. No one can avoid all of problems of survival when we are alive. Also, without independence and spirit freedom, we would be the walking dead. Certainly, The Story of the Stone is a tragedy, but it actually criticized a declining era rather than figures of the novel.

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宝钗2

Sorry for Daiyu, Sigh for Baochai

The most classical scenarios describing Lin Daiyu and Xue Baochai in the novel were “Daiyu burying fallen flowers” and “Baochai capturing butterflies” . I didn’t think about them carefully why the scenarios became classical before creating this group of the works. I just simply thought that they were not only the most impressive moments, but they were also showed the most authentic themselves. However, when I had finished all of pieces, and I suddenly realised that the reason why the moments were classical, it was because they showed what they really yearned for, which they never have throughout their lives. Most importantly, as a human, the real part of Daiyu and Baochai was revealed. One of them was a poet whose talent was beyond comparison, and another was a graceful lady whose virtues were matchless. If there were something what they really wanted, I think there were nothing Daiyu more than regretting her short life, and there were nothing Baochai more than yearning for freedom. Daiyu not only pitied those fallen flowers so that she was burying them as if they were real lifes, but she also sighed for her own short life which she could foresee like the fallen flowers. Also, Baochai was not only capturing butterflies, but she also treasured and loved such the happy moment that she should have owned as a young girl.

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宝钗3
There are twelve main figures in the novel, each of whom had a poetry to imply their destinies, except one to describe both Lin Daiyu and Xue Baochai. The poetry expressed sorry for Daiyu and gave a sigh for Baochai. Sorry for nothingness of death and sigh for helplessness of lifes happened to compose the tragic life, which the author wanted to criticize.

However, the author left us such a beautiful and eternal soul and spirit. That’s the very what we wanted to express in visual art form.

黛玉5

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Posted in Art Share

TableTopJewels – Sharon Condrat’s Crochet Art

When I found Sharon Condrat‘s Table Top Jewels at Etsy sevearl years ago,  I immediately felt in love with these table art which is beautiful and creative. Sharon Condrat is the creator of these mavellous stones. Interestingly, a flood watch of her home town brought her and crochet together when she was a teenager. As she explains : “I learned to crochet as a teenager. Our home town was under a flood watch. While my mother and myself were awake all night awaiting the alarm to evacuate she began to teach me to crochet. I was hooked. ” I guess that since then crochet art has been a part of her life. 

Sharon13Sharon11Sharon10Sharon9Sharon4Sharon2Sharon1il_570xN.579506920_5i8sSharon3il_570xN.315555174

Don’t you find pleasant to place these beautiful stones on your tables?

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These crocheted doilies used to be teacup mats or something like that, but they turned into fresh charm scenes on the table after artistic treatment by Sharon, as Cinderella becomes a beautiful and graceful princess.

If we don’t have to balance the relationship between beauty and practicability, everything would be simpler. Beauty is beauty. I need, and then I create. That’s all! Today while the industrial manufacturing is so developed, it would kill those traditional handicrafts which are full of wisdom and passion if we had to measure them with practicability. On the contrary, the convenience of industrialization as well as designers’ whimsy spare a broader space for those who engage in traditional handicrafts to exercise their creativity more freely. In other words, the handicrafts can be nice products, but they don’t have to be products’ decorations. 

In the age of being busy and lack patience, besides cheap and fine products, I think there is something more important for us, which is warm, gentle and can make you calm down to enjoy your present life.

Now I invite you to visit Sharon’s shop for more inspiration. Also, you can like her Facebook page for updates. 

Posted in Art Talk

Chinese Aesthetic Mood Is Our Belonging in the Culture

Last year I met Paulette Richards on NIADA Conference. She is a very talented person who is not only a doctor of literature and she is proficiency in French and Spanish, but she is also a professional dancer. However, she’s been working on Puppet Art these years. Meanwhile, she wrote many quality theses about Doll Art. Also, I saw many interesting puppet videos she made during the Conference.

It’s because we were all newbies on the NIADA Conference. So we were hanging out together in those days. Of course, we exchanged our opinions about doll art a lot. Since I came back from US, we keep in touch by e-mails. Paulette had a great idea that she wanted to make an interview to me for knowing about art more. I appreciated our conversations, for I could organize my thoughts clearly. Most importantly, I defined our art style more from her point of view.

Talk to Dr. Richards – About Chinese Aesthetic Mood

Paulette: The sculptures from “The Birds,” “Insects,” and “Groups” include no human figures.  Each one gives character to the creatures but they are not necessarily anthropomorphic.  The virtuoso modeling of scenes in miniature reflects a deep reverence for the natural world.  If I could not go outside in nature, having a miniature world like this to contemplate inside my home would be very restful.  All of your work shares this serene feeling.  Looking at them is like stopping to take a breath of fresh air or taking a few moments of soothing meditation in the midst of a hectic day.  Are you working in a tradition of contemplative art or are you consciously forging a new path? 

Zora: If you are familiar with Chinese traditional paintings, especially in ink landscape paintings, you might recognize a similar aesthetic mood that is like our works. I particularly appreciate this kind of philosophical ink landscape paintings. It shapes an infinite and vast spaces by lots of negative spaces (intentionally leaving blank areas on the margin of the paintings) with virtual and real techniques of drawing. You could not only see richness and comprehensiveness of the boundless universe from these paintings, though they are just drawn with a single color, but you could also feel a philosopher’s loneliness and thinking. Besides that, most ink landscape paintings actually are not large, and I’m always surprised when I see the original works that even miles of landscape could be contained in such small sizes. However, I hadn’t seen anyone describe this kind of aesthetic mood with sculptural language before we started this art form. Actually, there is a tension between metaphysical artistic conception and pragmatic handicrafts, but I think it must be interesting to combine them as one. In fact, practicability is not a required attribute of handicrafts. Any of the techniques are just tools to express artistic conceptions. It should be said my mom’s marvelous talents and my comprehension about art as well as a strong desire of expression sparked us to open a new path unconsciously. 

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Paulette: Some of your figures are dressed in costumes of modern women but they never appear in settings of the modern, urbanized world.  Why do your characters have such a strong relationship to nature?

Zora: First of all, this world has already been polluted by industrial and urbanized development, and we just grew up in such a messy world. Frankly speaking, we would be depressed if we had to express urbanized life in art. Compared to realistic life, our work actually implies an attitude that avoids all mainstream values but immerses viewers in our own world. It’s a bit like a healing. For us, it’s like a wonderful healing that we can get inner peace and energy when we get inspiration and strength from nature and then to express them through a form of visual art. It’s an intimate expression, but it might strike an empathetic chord in the viewers. What we want and what we want to express depend on what we don’t actually have. 

Second, I particularly appreciate the Taoist idea that heaven and man are united as one or “harmony between man and nature”. “Heaven and Man” is the basic implication of Chinese philosophy and aesthetic, which is also the principal difference of oriental culture and western culture. One of meanings of “Heaven” is nature. This subject is quite large and complicated, and there are plenty of writings about it, but this fundamental thought permeates every aspect of Chinese culture and art. If you are familiar with Chinese traditional paintings, you might find out the idea of “harmony between man and nature” is always given primacy. “Chinese artistic conception” is one of the products of the thought of “Heaven and Man”. It is the highest state of being pursued by Chinese artists. The Chinese artistic conception means a harmonious atmosphere and a space available to imagine. Certainly, cities are also spaces, but whatever how big they are, the cities cannot offer you a free feeling as much as the nature gives you. Nature is a so wide a space that seems as if you could fly as free as a bird. 

Furthermore, I don’t like to emphasize the feeling of “doll” that arises when the figure just stands there alone. As the deity over all creatures, the strength of man is beyond any doubt, but I don’t think man is quite charming without nature as an entirety. That’s why I incorporated dolls into relatively unified environments. The inputs of figures and settings are the same in our work, but it doesn’t mean the dolls are secondary in our works. In my opinion, figures and nature complement each other. I point this out, because most doll artists don’t accept it. I’ve seen lots of dolls so far and no matter whether Chinese artists made them or not, the dolls just stand there alone without environments. Dolls like this are a “tradition” in the doll world I hoped, however, to explore a new path. To be exact, we might not really be doll artists, but I’m not sure if we belong with other types of artists either. Anyway, I hope to develop something new from traditions. Actually, I found out some artists have consciously created environments for their dolls more or less. It’s like a little girl has a doll but she also wants to give her doll a colorful life. A doll house can meet these girls’ wishes, but it’s another art category. Well, this is just a metaphor. My point is that, from a technical perspective, now that doll artists can do it, why not to explore a richer and more interesting doll world? In my opinion, there is no right or wrong art, but good or bad.

“Aesthetic Mood” is not strange to Chinese people, but it’s hard to find one or two proper words to outline its meaning in English. All of translations I can gather are like “aesthetic mood”, “artistic conception” and “creative concept”, none of which can summarize a sense of space that is mixed with nature and poetry, which Chinese people aspire. It’s easy to understand if we only say nature or poetry. As far as I know, there are tons of western artists who focus on describing the nature and their works are beautiful as well. The difference is that Western artists value the expressions of artistic language more, but Chinese artists pursue a kind of philosophical sense of time and space. However, art is beyond boundaries. Now that the “Aesthetic Mood” is the highest level of aesthetics for Chinese, then when we see a Chinese artwork with “Aesthetic Mood” is no language and cultural barriers, just like Paulette felt. If we have to discuss it, then actually the question is where the “Aesthetic Mood” came from?

nizanThe paintings of Chinese artist – Ni Zan (1301-1374)

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Female Country | Destiny – Seeking

In fact, I didn’t think about theory thing too much in creating. I just followed my heart. Actually, the word of “Aesthetic Mood” came to our minds when we finished our work. This discovery was not only surprised ourselves, but it’s also amazed our audience. This kind of beauty is like a cultural gene flows in our blood, which is the beauty that each Chinese can understand, is everyone who loves nature can feel. When I brought such a “Aesthetic Mood” to attend NIADA, I got appreciation from NIADA’s artists, meanwhile, I felt a subtle conflict.

When we say that we understand a piece of artwork is usually a perceptual experience for the beauty, but when we say that we don’t understand it is probably from cultural differences. However, the differences produce a possibility of communicating. In NIADA artists’ views, telling story to the viewers can be in a simpler way so as not to distract from the main attraction, the Doll. This can be done with gestures of the figure, costuming, and the base should be simpler. Yet putting the dolls into unified environments is the very what I wanted to explore. Of course, I respect NIADA artists’ opinion, but I think I should stick with my own way. When I realized this point, I found out all of my works whatever they have dolls or not, pursuing the Chinese Aesthetic Mood is not only a desire from our hearts, but it’s also our belonging in the culture.

Posted in Stories About Zora and Holly

Childhood Is A Tuneless Song

It is the happiest thing to seek a comfortable place where can have sweet dreams after chasing butterflies, playing in the mud and plucking wild flowers. Childhood is like a picture; a dream; a sweet kiss!

1Years | Childhood (Fabric sculpture)
Materials: Fabric, cutton, silk threads, wires.
Size: 51 × 50 × 36 cm

Children’s Day is coming in China, and it would be the happiest day in a year for children. Yet I have no idea since when there are more and more adults claiming to celebrate Children’s Day as well. They enjoy the way children talk very much, and they even don’t shame on themselves at all to imitate kids’ tones. Okay, I’m the one of them. I just don’t want to grow up until I was 30, but it was time to be a really decent adult.

In adults’ eyes, the world of children is always simple and bright, warm and sunny, pure and happy. As a matter of fact, when we recall what we did in our childhood, something was not only horror but it was also a bit cruel.

For example, I liked playing insects when I was small. Whatever worms or beetles, I liked to hold them in my hands for a while. Sometimes I gathered lots of my little fellows for showing my remarkable art of healing which I demonstrated how to make a perfect surgery to a longhorn-beetle. Of course, they studied quite seriously.

What’s the longhorn-beetle?

Hmmm…. it’s a disgusting beetle anyway! I couldn’t understand why I liked to play them then. Horrible!!

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It seems that there were no conceptions like “fear” or “cruel” in our minds. Not to mention playing beetles, there was nothing that we didn’t dare to eat!

I liked living with my grandma as long as summer vacation came, for my grandma never stopped me from following my big friends to explore the world from morning till night, except yelling me came back to have lunch or dinner. Of course, you cannot expect me to learn some decent behaviours. It was no big deal to climb trees for stealing some fruits or something like that. Anyway, I did my best not to break the ranks. Even if I grazed my knees or forehead when I had a bad fall, my grandma wouldn’t criticize me, for her gentian violet could cure all diseases anyway.
I remembered that there was a Bureau of Forestry in which was near my grandma’s home. It was one of the best places we kids liked to go, for there were a variety of thousands dragonflies. Red-tail, golden-wings and gaint-blue-head were seen most often there. Red-tails were the sliest, if you could catch a red-tail, then you would definitely be admired the whole day. Golden-wings were just the oppsite, they were so stupid that even me could catch them easily, but their wings looked quite shiny and beautiful. Gaint-blue-heads might be the kings in dragonflies world I thought, for they were not only agile, but the way they fly was also powerful. Well the kids as weak as like me never expected to catch a Gaint-blue-head.

As we all know, dragonflies were mosquitoes’ natural enemies, but we wild kids were just dragonflies’ natural enemies. At that time catching dragonflies was cool and very popular in children world, especially those of who were amazing at catching dragonflies could catch a string of dragonflies with one Gaint-blue-head, which the picture were so cool that really liked flying an alive kite.

Certainly, all of dragonflies were caught had to be kept well, so those of who were not good at catching like me were naturally to be dragonflies’ keepers, which we used our fingers to clamp their wings. Generally, each of my hands could hold 7 or 8 ones. Since I had a lot of responsibility in my job, I didn’t dare to let my guard down at all so that I just clamped my fingers harder in case they would escape from my hands. When everybody knocked off, the wings of dragonflies were totally wet by sweat of my hands. Well they definitely couldn’t fly away, but it’s okay. Anyway, we would never eat wings and tails when we grilled them. Omg…

Fierce face …..urrrr…

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Boys were so sweet and gentlemanly that they would let girls eat first. Honestly, I didn’t quite dare to eat it, but I was afraid I would be laughed at by everyone and they would call me coward. So….. I ATE IT!
I didn’t remember what it was like, but I kept encouraging myself and I thought to myself that well, dragonflies eat mosquitoes and now I ate dragonflies, which means I ate mosquitoes, then it means that I ate mosquitoes and I killed pests?

I was so cool!

I’m not sure how’s my friends now, but please be assured, I’ve already been cursed. Maybe I did lots of bad things to insects before so that I got serious insects-phobia now. If you want to kill me, I would suggest you throw a cockroach to me and I would be dead meat.

HOWEVER, if you really did that, I would regard you like cockroach as my natural enemy and never let you close to me. Seriously.

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When I grew up and I understood that there is not strange words like innocent or joyous in children’s world, not to mention being carefree. Actually, they have lots of things to worry about. For instance, they would ask to themselves like:
“Did I finish the tasks from the team today?”
“Did I do something embarrassed?”
“Did I get much attention from others?”
“Did I behave awesomely?”

Those of who has a sense of responsibility more would think:
“Where else we’ve never been to?”
“What else we haven’t played?”
“What else cool things should I do will get more respect? ”

In short, besides that satisfying their own curiosity, being cool is paramount for them.

When the childhood got away further and further, those of what we worried or cared about gradually became a song which was written by passed years. It might be a tuneless song, but it always arouses our purest memories from time to time, which was stupid but sincere, and we would like to write the lyrics for the childhood with the most beautiful words.
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Actually, dark part was much more than bright part in my childhood, but when I was creating this piece of work — Childhood, I just wanted to remember the bright part. Perhaps I just consciously or unconsciously wanted to melt the ice mountain of my heart with the warmest part.

Who’s to say that the art wasn’t a kind of healing?

Posted in Stories About Zora and Holly

“Mother” is not your name! You deserve to be the best self!

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“There is no future for artists. Even their survival has been questioned! ”

I never forget my mother said to me these words when I decided to choose Fine Art as my major of university. Actually, I agreed with her. Even today, I don’t think what she said has any problem, let alone none of our whole family was involved in art business. It made sense that my mother got such a solid conclusion. I had no enough sense at age 16 to think about why I was good at drawing but I wasn’t from art family. I just thought I might not be cut out for a good student, for no matter how hard I tried, it was difficult to discover any interesting things in the class. The only one history teacher I liked ended up disappearing in our class by some political reasons. However, there was nothing stopping me to dream a brilliant life, although I was not a straight-A student. I thought to myself that I had to go to college, but I couldn’t find any advantages about myself in front of highly competitive GaoKao (University Entrance Examination), except drawing. Faced the cruel fact, I had to give my mother a solider reason. Then I said to her : “I never ever thought, and won’t be, to be a pure artist, but it would be good enough to be an art practitioner in the future. That’s all!”

Finally, my mother agreed, for she thought it sounded like a realistic and reliable reason. The following tale was to start an unforgettable art-exams career in my life, which lasted three years. Well it’s not the point. I’ll skip over to describe the tough experience for the time being. Most importantly, it was the first time I had felt my life was meaningful, during which time I had an amazing experience being an excellent student!

Perhaps I was branded by the words that my mother had warned me, or maybe there was always a strong crisis awareness in my mind. After entering university, to make sure not to be a pure artist, I started quite early to learn various design software for preparing future employment opportunities, though I majored in oil painting then. That is to say, over the four years in college, I focused more on programming my future career than specializing in my major itself. Interestingly, while I realized more and more that myself was too rational to be a pure artist, I came to a growing realization that my mother was actually a natural artist.

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Female Country | Years – Youth

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My mother was so sensitive that people called her crybaby. As long as she thought her dignity was hurt or privacy was eroded, her tears began running out of them, and the way she was crying was always sobbing for a day or night instead of going on a real crying jag. Sometimes her tears were running heavily, but the other side even didn’t know how to offend her. Finally, they had to keep her at a distance.

So, in my childhood memories, mum was always lonely and she had been crying.

Unfortunately, my mother’s tears didn’t arouse my father, but it did enlighten me becoming increasingly sensible. When I was a kid, I was so afraid that I just wept with her for company. When I grew bigger, I started to try comforting her. When I got more sensible, I got to know better and better about the mother, who had been always considered narrow minded and oversensitive, what kind of person she really is. If I wouldn’t have chosen art and just being a good girl, then I might never have got a chance to touch her world of emotion in her deep heart, which was the purest and full of passion. She was ingenious but inarticulate, and the tears were her only weapon to stand up for her dignity. The pity was that the mute protest was always interpreted as weakness. In her love that was once-in-a-lifetime, she loved deeply, passionately and unreasonably, and she had no regrets how deeply she loved, even she got nothing in the end. After that, she just put everything behind her, and left. Had suffered pain and sorrow, such the steadfast will as if her former life was really like a dream. When the dream awoke, she put herself together and took a breath, then made another one, but this time, she never cried again. As a mother, it seemed she was a bit innocent, but I’m so proud of that I have such a sincere and strong mother.

Someone might point out that I was just as a daughter to air familial affection so that I was unconsciously letting my prose turned sentimental. Well, maybe they are right. It’s like that my mother always stares at bleary and tousled me and says with a smile: “What a lovely girl!” Even there are only us at home, and I am so embarrassed that I criticize her immediately: “You know what? You are in the terminal stage of mummy-cancer. You have to cure yourself.” My mother said: “No! I give up treatment.”

True, it’s natural and normal for the deep love between mother and daughter. However, it’s not easy of saying NO to the former life. Time greyed her hair, but a flaming colour in her heart never fades. She is not only my mother, but she is also my best friend and my dearest partner.

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I always think life is fair. In spite of my mother without a silver tongue, she has a pair of clever hands which can weave a splendid life. In her whole life, only a few times to buy clothes, for almost all of her clothes throughout the year were made by herself. She is not only an outstandingly able woman, in my eyes, the rarest quality in her is that she has been striving for excellence in all aspects. Perhaps her desires for beauty were too strong, whatever kinds of handicrafts, she could figure its secret out as long as she glanced at it. Anyway, she always can grasp the essence of various handicrafts in a short time. However, what impressed me most was that there was something like a fire in her has been burning under the apparently calm surface, despite her job had nothing to do with art, also, she never ever thought she would be involved in art business someday. In my memory, her hands were always full of work, either weaving or embroidering or making endless needlework in front of sewing machine.

Besides her own stuff, there were tons of free orders from relatives and friends. Every time when the festivals or important events come, she had to be busy with everything related to handwork thing. She was a woman with few words, but I thought being busy was one of the main reasons. She had to work during the day and there was onerous housework waiting her after work, all of her free time she got was the time from after dinner to go to bed. The sound of sewing machine was always stopped after midnight, but it was a joyful break in a long day for her.

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As my mother never thought she would be an artist one day, I also didn’t expect I would be the designer who works for my mother someday. I had just planned to save her from totally-wrong-life, and helped her to be herself, to achieve her full artistic talent, to enjoy her leisure retire life. However, like all of mothers who loved their children so much, she worked so hard for saving money since I went to university, for she hoped to give me a better future life. Even she hated to be an accountant most, but for survival and my future, she just wanted to be a mother to love her daughter with all her heart. The only thing she cared then that was to hit a historical LOW of monthly expenses. Yet, I didn’t agree what she’d done at all!
As an adult, I was able to solve the problems of living. As a daughter, I had obligations to take care of my parents. As an independent woman, I had rights to choose what life I wanted. Anyway, I couldn’t accept the dedication that was totally self-sacrifice at all. In my opinion, she was wasting her life! Not only was I angry that she was too stubborn to embrace her talents, but I also felt loves dearly very much that her too affectionate nature burdened her so much. Many people laughed at her for being too sentimental. Indeed, as my grandmother said that she was moved so easily. Maybe the way she loved was a bit cheap for others, but in my eyes, it was as precious as diamonds. It’s because I could see the rarest qualities in her. That is to say, is a simplicity that she had to seek for truth no matter how much hurts she got, is a persistence that she would like to believe in goodness no matter how many times she failed, and is a desire that she wanted to create beauty no matter how much hardships she had to go through. Well, perhaps everyone couldn’t be moved by her, but I was deeply moved by all of what she’d done.

Our relationship was getting deeper and deeper along with understanding growing between us. Also, the truth of “Like Mother Like Daughter” let me knew about myself more. I was struggling in workplace for 5 years. I had a well-paid job and I was considered to have a bright future, though I did lots of stupid things like offended my boss for sticking to my points. When everything carried on very much smoothly, but I felt loosing the direction of my life. Partly because I felt a disquiet growing in me when I entered a comfort zone, partly because there was always a voice from my heart calling me to return to art.

However, the reality tells us that it will be very tough to be a pure artist. After thinking a lot, I decided to go back school, for I wanted to be an artist manager or something like that, which it sounded more realistic, then I can help my mother to be a real artist. I acted immediately when this idea occurred to me. So I started another art-exams career which was tougher. For those who majored in fine art at college, it was very difficult to get Master’s degree of theoretical majors, but it seemed the difficulties never stop me from what I wanted to do. Hope was everything. At the time my mother didn’t believe what I’d said about the matter of that she was the artist. She thought it was nonsense at all, but she supported me loyally to do what I liked. Meanwhile, she was getting to know better and better why we could understand each other well, during which the process I insisted on following my heart.

Sometimes even some casual words from others can light a fire in our hearts so that we changed our lives. Actually, it’s not the words how much magical they are, but you are just the person who you should have been. Before you know who you really are, you are just waiting a KEY to open you heart at the right time. After that, you would find everything is new. Me, is the key that opened my mother’s new life. On the way of my study, the most sensitive part of her heart was triggered. After tons of tears running her eyes, she knew who she was and embraced herself at last.

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Female Country | Years – Mid-old age

I particularly wanted to tell an inspirational story, and encourage people to believe in God rewards the diligent, but my story never inspiring. No matter how hard I worked, after three years, I still couldn’t get in postgraduate school. When the overwhelming failure was around me, my mother said: “All of what you’ve done was worth. Now that your purpose was for acquiring knowledge, then you’ve already got it. The result can prove nothing because you never know what would come along next. If you really cared about the degree then you wouldn’t have resigned a good job. You said you wanted to be an artist manager. Alright, then please start it from teaching me!”

At that moment, she was my KEY.

I know there are many people waiting to read a story about success. Unfortunately, it seems only failures we can share. However, what’s even more amazing was that over the eight years in our seclusion life, we got really inner peace and felt full of energy. Maybe that’s the reason we were called by art.

Being yourself, and you would gain a stronger self! Is it a kind of a success?

I think so.

Posted in Inspiration and Ideas

A Song of Forest

A Song of Forest From Elves Vale

I often picture I would be woken up by the crisp sound of the birds, at which time I would get up and brush my teeth immediately. And then I would wear my running shoes to be out of the door as quickly as I can, as if I would miss an important concert so that I couldn’t wait to rush into the shady path in which is fresh and quiet, to enjoy the fantastic songs of which are from the sides of path, to get my breath rhythmically into such natural symphony. A new and beautiful day starts from here. That’s the most beautiful thing I can think of.

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Actually, the reality is always rougher than I expected. The scenery, which I can see when I’m jogging, is not as exquisite as these sculptures I created, however, the pleasant songs of birds are indeed around me every day. I’m not a musician and I’m unable to write wonderful symphonies, but I want to express the beauty which I felt with these combinatorial sculptures.

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Visible Music

Speaking of music, there is nothing more I can say actually, for few names of singers and songs I can remember, though I love listening to music. For me, melodies are more important than lyrics. It’s because whatever the lyrics how wonderful are, it’s less than reading poems directly. A song as a performance work, harmonious melody and sincere feelings are the first thing I can feel. So I just care about whether voices and compositions are good or not. That’s why I love colorful World Music like HAYA BAND or something like that. Furthermore, meditation music like Dan Gisbson is also my best choice when I’m relaxed.

Our works express a breath of nature as well like the style of the music I favorite. I wanted to express a feeling for the ears in visual ways, which is visible music (synaesthesia). Certainly, there is nothing more beautiful and pleasant sound than ensemble of birds in nature. On the trees of my window, there are always lovely birds stand on the branches twitter, but I never get bored with them. As a result of the trees outside my window are very lush, sometimes I can even see a bird tearing at worms from the branches right under my nose. It’s so lovely! I took much time to capture these lovely shots.

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Combinatorial Sculptures

A Song of Forest is our latest work, which is a set of combinatorial sculptures. Compared with our former works that a series work, each of which is different, composing one subject, this time we wanted to create a feeling that is similar to fluidity of music, so A Song of Forest is composed of four small sculptures so that it can be made different pictures by rearranging them but they always look harmonious and elegant no matter how you do. Looking at these beautiful pictures as if I was really in meditation in a forest.

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We hope this A Song of Forest we created can bring a breath of nature to you. We are creating combinatorial dolls as well. Please follow us if you are interested in our work.

Posted in Stories About Zora and Holly

A Mother-Daughter Team from China

Artist Statement

The secret behind our works is kind of a tricky one.

When my mother and I first started to create these artworks, we could never ever have imagined what would come along next. Our only wish was, and still is, to share them with those among billions of you who truly admire art.

On top of that, the relationship between us is as well tricky, only in a marvellous way. We can sense the fulfilling of some specific destiny while creating.

A daughter who was once taught so many things by her mother now finds herself becoming the teacher.

“The life” represents familial affection, with the mother and the daughter entwined in perfect intimacy, from which the most robust friendship is bred.

“Losing” brings something new in our life. Now cherishing each other and what we have got is but the only philosophy we live by.

This life of ours spans several decades yet ultimately it ends. For a while it seems desperately endless and on some other day it just feels so very short.

Anyhow, within this inhere finite, we strive to create a world of serenity, netting as much beauty as we could and meanwhile, sharing it with those holding ardor for both art and life, just like we do.

Zora&Holly

1-1Female Country | Years – Teen

1-2Elves Vale | Groups – Musicians

1-3Elves Vale | Birds – Ducks

1-4Elves Vale | Insects – Mantises

The Origin of Zora & Holly Fine Art

It’s been 8 years since I wrote something seriously. I had a slogan then that I would write something every day. However, I stopped updating on social networking since I decided to quit my job, but I still keep writing, it’s just not on blog. You might ask me why not you update your blog now that you have been writing? It’s because I don’t hope to get too much attention when I truly want to do something. At least, I cannot feel entirely at peace with myself in any event, though I’ve been trying to achieve the point.

My personality is better kept away from society. I’d rather suffer setback and learn from it than follow the herd to seek a sense of security. I might be a stubborn person, but you can only live once, so I hope I can choose what life I want instead of just being alive safely. Although I didn’t have a brilliant life in the past 8 years which I’ve lived in seclusion in a small town, I felt peace and happy. I think it’s the best choice for me.

However, I’m very lucky, for my mum is a great person who is very romantic and idealistic. Whatever I decide to do, she is always on my side, and the reason why I made such a decision, it’s because I could see my values from her. Few people can understand how mother and daughter could work together. To be honest, we think it’s unbelievable either. It seemed that everything was meant to be. When we realised it and we were surprised that the blood brings something far beyond familial affection, which it takes us to find truly kindred spirits.

My mother said to me more than once, “The luckiest thing in my life is that I met you!”

So did I!

A talented artist met the one who understood her perfectly is lucky enough. The luckier thing is that we are mother and daughter.

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Us

Holly (left) and Zora (right)

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My mother is very talented. Her greatest strength that is also not so popular is that she is very sensitive and delicate. Of course, she can be a good artist, but in a society, the values of which prefers pragmatism more, those who love exploring spiritual world won’t be quite popular. However, she‘s been ’my idol all the time. Unfortunately, I’m not as talented as my mom in terms of handicrafts, but in her life, I’m the only one can understand all of her desires for pursuing beauty.

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Knotted Frog (lenghth : 1.2 cm)

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I always think I’m in control of my own life. Now when I look back, however, I realise that somewhere has long been destined to. For example, my mother never realised that the reason why I chose Fine Art as my major in university was under her influence. Likewise, I never expected all of what I’ve been learning in the world of art is just for my mother in the end. In my eyes, she is a natural artist. In her opinion, I’m a perfect designer. We are the smallest unit as a team. In this small team, we built our confidences, saw our own values from each other, and constructed our self-identifications.

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me

Zora – Designer | Fabric Artist

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mum

Zora – Fabric Artist

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Dreaming is a way

Any choice has to be paid! I always say that. These years, we have no any of income for creating. Living in seclusion, it’s not only for making ourselves better, but it’s also a pretty excuse for the reality of financial embarrassment.

Sometimes I asked my mum: “What if we were going to be poor all the time?”

My mum said, “Only if I’m alive then you won’t be starving, and even if I was dead, you have many ways to feed yourself. So, now that we are doing our favorite things without starving, is there any reason we should complain or be upset?”

Yes, it does make sense!

But I asked her again: “Who can understand that? Are we insane?”

She said: “Well, if the feeling of being insane is so good like now, please don’t cure me!”

….

Sure!

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Female Country | Destiny – Kindred spirits

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It’s Time!

Actually, I should have opened a blog earlier, but I always thought the time was not right. For one thing, I hadn’t decided which way is better for telling our own stories. For another thing, as an artist, how my work could echo widely with audience without long-term accumulation. I didn’t expect I would work with my mother, but the direction in which I strive for never changes. Of course my ideal is not only for promoting an artist whose talents might be ignored, but I also hope I can promote Chinese handicrafts in the form of Fine Art by our own stories. Also, I’d like to share all of what we know about Chinese art with you.

I will share our own works, art perspectives and our stories here. Besides that, we offer an online class that teaches some interesting handmade courses for those who love handicrafts. Welcome to join us to enjoy this process of creating beauty. Also, I will feature excellent artists from all over the world on here.

Welcome to follow us. ♥