The Mighty Metalsmith
Decorative and Domestic Metal and Silverware

23th May - 7th July 2013

Bamboo vessels in silver

Bamboo vessels in silver

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Chien-Wei Chang

In Chinese history, there has always been a major tradition of painting images of bamboo among intellectuals and artists of many dynasties. In Chinese metaphysics, bamboo is a symbol of modesty. Because of this symbolic significance of virtue, it has become the aim of intellectuals and artists to embody the beauty of bamboo in their works.

In Eastern societies, bamboo grows everywhere and this natural material is utilised in every single aspect of our lives. People take it for granted. In other words, our use of bamboo is an example of generalised human behaviour towards natural resources and how we treat our environment.

The association of bamboo as a cultural symbol of the East is now widely accepted in Western societies. As a silversmith/metal artist of Chinese decent, culturally I follow my ancestors' footstep to pursue the 'essence' and 'beauty' in Eastern aesthetics by creating works based on bamboo form, but I also hope my work can raise an awareness of social contexts among audiences via an exploration of the different perspectives of other cultures. Each piece of my work depicts the different phases of my journey as a foreign artist living in London and has its own story to tell.

Biographical Details