Featured Artist: Wen Yu

In the Featured Artist|Designer section, I highlight artists and designers that I’ve worked with personally as students or clients. The goal is to promote their work to a larger audience and to give more context to the kind of work that I do as an English language coach. Wen Yu is a client I worked with several years ago when she was applying for grad school.

Who is Wen Yu?

Here is the bio that Wen shared:

“Wen Yu is a multi-media artist from the hometown of the prominent architect I.M.Pei, which is a cultural capital of China of more than 2500 years.  Grown up in an intellectual family, Wen had built up a keen interest in art and human sciences in the field of political philosophy, semiotics and biology. She creates projects that integrate digital art, story-telling, and tangible material to explore the line between digital and handcraft.

Presently, Wen is working as an independent artist in the US. She is the principal artist at Arnox (Boston) and Build-it-yourself (Cambridge). Wen’s work has been exhibited in Boston, San Francisco and Taiwan in art institutions such as de Young Museum, San Francisco; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute; Boston University; Bromfield Gallery, Boston; Lens Gallery, Boston; MIT xFair, Cambridge, Gallery 263, Cambridge; Lamont Gallery at Philips Exeter Academy; Cornell ECRAFT Fair, Ithaca; Ann Arbor Art Center, Ann Arbor and Gallery Madison Park, New York (upcoming). Wen has earned two master degrees in art from Boston University and Academy of Art University in San Francisco.”

Selections of Wen’s work

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She describes her work in the paragraphs below:

“To escape, they built a ship and accidentally buried human bones in the oars. It was a secret. It was not an indescribable boat, but it was strong enough to reeve the erratic winds and waves. They preserved the eggs in the moon palace they built on the ship. Eggs germinated and produced more eggs. Every egg has a warm nest where they grow and wait to decrease. The secret was buried with the first generation’s death. That day, the ship was surrounded by many monks, layers by layers, carried by the east wind and they sang for a day with no stop. The second generation picked up the oars and kept sailing along. They did not know whether the front was a vortex, land or endless sea with the roaring waves. The waves became higher, fortunately enough, their eggs were still there, breathing and continue to breed the fourth generation.

The ongoing body of work tells an ocean myth based on true story since 1923. The works also take a close look at the generations of people who make the best efforts to live through the tide of historical progression in an arbitrary regime. Those individuals speak for the moral code of each era. They are prudent, anti-criticism (on the surface), move forward slowly by working hard. They are liberal in the sense of protecting their processions, but they worship their own ‘God.’ Obedience to absolute authority is their principle creed. They are beneficiaries of the noneconomic incentives, namely, better housing, better food, opportunities for travel, education and medical treatment and higher funeral standard. Meanwhile, they are extremely anxious about their family falling apart because of the unforeseeable power exertion. In a way, they are Hobbesian who believe nature is a state of permanent fear, insecurity, and distrust.

The investigation undertaken is the correlation between political vicissitudes and personal fate as well as its aftermath within the timeframe of China’s modern history (1930-current). According to statistic, there are over 100 political movements in the name of reforming the country.  Especially during the year of 1949-1956, there are 43 types of political actions, such as Ideological Reform, Criticism of Bourgeois Trends, Anti-political Rumors, Property Ownership Reform, War to Resist the United States and Aid Korea, Joint State-Private Ownership. Such density marks severe social-political naturalization process as well as the ascendancy and subordination of classes. How to live ‘properly’, in other words, how act on dominant power’s constant changing consciousness and moral standard, is the only rescue for that generations of people to preserve themselves among the vicissitudes. Personal fate and private assets become the result of the genetic, upbringing and chance. Thus, human nature has undergone manifold revolutions over the particular phase of history-persistent but perplexing, self-sufficient but overcautious.”

To see more of Wen’s work, take a look at her website:

How did I help?

Wen writes: “I met Jessica through a friend when I was looking for some help for my school application. We met 4-5 times within three months, and we worked together on my personal statement. It was challenging for me to put all the pieces of ideas logically and convincingly, however, with Jessica’s help, I was able to convey and clarify my thoughts. As a professional language practitioner, Jessica understands the nuance between different languages, and she is very capable of express meanings in artful ways. She taught me grammars while she was correcting my writings. But more important than that, she made me perceive a decent way of English writing. As a result, I was granted the opportunity to study at Boston University, which offers one of the top art administration programs in the country.”

I want to help you too!

If you are looking for this kind of help to apply for school, share your work online, or present it, I’m happy to work with you too! If you want to know more about working with an English language coach, you can take a look at the Learn page or schedule a free trial lesson so we can talk about what you need and how I can help!

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I help artists and designers with their English so they can focus on being creative and changing the world.

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