The work on view in this exhibition was produced as part of the ongoing exchange program between the University at Buffalo’s Department of Visual Studies MFA students and advanced students at Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing. A two-week Beijing residency in the spring of 2011 resulted in a dynamic academic exchange and the generation of collaborative artworks. Two weeks prior to the opening at the UB Art Gallery, students and faculty from CAFA visited Buffalo to continue working with their Visual Studies partners in finishing their projects, which was installed in the UB Art Gallery’s Second Floor Gallery. This exhibition traveled to Beijing at a later date for display at the Today Art Museum. Subsequent to the exhibitions, a publication will be produced that charts the complex process of cross-cultural collaboration.
I collaborated with fellow MFA student Ellen Rogers and CAFA student Ji Yucheng, or Cody, as he was known to us. Our project began as an investigation into the concept of hybrid animals, such as Gargoyles or Qilin. During our stay in China, we initially created a large scale sculpture of a hybrid Ox-Tiger, concieved of the two animals we felt best represented our respective countries. Back in Buffalo we continued along our initial trajectory of creating hybrid creatures, this time using the results of a survey of Chinese and American students as our source material. We created small wire and raffia sculptures for each of the top ten animals representing the USA and China. Silhouette profiles were taken of each sculpture and turned into slides to be projected and recombined as hybrid animals in the final image.