A garden has a similar meaning in different cultures which is an expression of an individual’s or culture’s philosophy. It also has a long history in China. In the past, each Chinese scholar had an intimate garden which was a reflection of their inner world. But this garden culture was tightly connected with the lifestyle at that time. Many people living in modern society feel that they have lost their attachment to a traditional garden, which is too far away from daily life and only can be appreciated in a picture album. As a person who has a great interest in the inheritance of the past, by simplifying and abstracting the characteristic elements of the traditional Chinese garden I try to abstract basic components and combine them with scenes of daily life into installations. They are built by modern visual language but with a similar approach to creating that the ancient people used, which is called ‘see greatness from trivialness’ in the translation of Chinese. The same thinking method can connect my work with the past more deeply, making it more than simply a copy of a visual form.

Clay is used as a primary material. Clay, especially porcelain, has a special meaning in Chinese culture through the ages, and we can see the constantly changing history of this material. It is pure, and delicate, and is a fusion of the memory of the past. I also use common materials and some ready-made objects. With the popularizing of high technology and mass production, these materials surround us all the time and represent a modern lifestyle. They are ubiquitous. So clay will be combined with these common materials, and be a key character to link different values, neutralizing conflicts between different materials. When these materials come together and create artworks with imagery, it becomes a bridge that connects past and present to show new aspects of daily life. I also hope these installations turn into a reflection of the psychological condition of people living in the city, and a discussion of different lifestyles. Within this fresh composition of materials, the viewers can make their own connection with history in the indoor garden.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Ceramic sculpture--Themes, motives; Ceramic sculpture--Technique; Gardens in art

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Ceramics (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School for American Crafts (CIAS)


Jane Shellenbarger

Advisor/Committee Member

Peter Pincus

Advisor/Committee Member

Robin Cass


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes