2021, 18k Gold Plated on Bronze, Jade, Gold Leave, 14k Gold, Enamel, 12”*4”*9”, photo credit to Ziqin Min
“My art inspiration is from the cracks in concrete in buildings. The regular repair of the concrete cracks is necessary to avoid further durability problems. Cracking is usually the first sign of distress in concrete. There is usually underlying deterioration that is causing the cracks to appear. Therefore, the cracking is the visual evidence of other significant factors; environment, material quality, external destruction, etc. As an artist, I attempting to present “culture” as the environment surrounding the cracks. Complicated impurity is the fact that changes the status quo from stability to instability. Through the process of making metalwork, I can examine this issue because I am already situated between two different cultures, Western and Eastern. Contradictory always exists in this situation and cultural purity is impossible.
In my artwork, I want to tell the audience to find the cracks in their lives, such as culture, works love, or family. If you have emotions, you will struggle with something in your life. People cannot escape the cage that life gives to them. Repairing with precious metals and utilizing the language of metalsmithing is a way to merge the disjointed parts of my identity. My work includes varieties of connecting methods, tools, and a copy of historical artworks. Repairing is significant in my body of work. My artworks are non-functional tools that explore the philosophical question of repairing the gaps.. My work is based on culture, and I dealt with this concept using three distinct approaches. First are the tools, second are the works with repair of Western ornamentation, and the third is a piece based on an actual work of French/Chinese chinoiserie from the 18th Century where the metalwork was done by a French artist and the ceramicist was Chinese. In my copy of the work, both parts are made by the same person (me), who embsaodies that blended culture. The architectural ornament is my other major inspiration. Ornament definitely represents the culture where I am in. That is the reason why there are big fragments of western ornaments. After I made my works, I know that I don’t want to emphasize the difference between the two cultures. It is further like the concrete cracks. It will be self-healing by itself.”
“Ziqin Min is a metalsmith and jewelry designer from China. He received his BFA degree from Academy of Art university and MFA degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work primarily focuses on creating the relationship between Chinese and Western culture through metal media. His inspiration comes from architecture where he lived in.
Ziqin grew up in a small canal town in Shanghai, China, where he started to learn Chinese painting and calligraphy at the age of 10. He inherited a lot of ideologies from his practice on traditional Chinese paintings depicting mountain landscape, human posture, insects and temples. Such paintings always overtone a poetic philosophy, which is also what Ziqin would like to achieve in his projects.