Bin Quan

Artist Statement

This body of work confronts my own family relationships and cultural backgrounds. I have been absent from my family and birth country for five years and am no longer able to communicate with them.  My work includes three-dimensional or wearable sculptures, as well as installation art. The work centers on the aforementioned familial dilemmas, whether past or present, in combination with personal experimentation and my own understanding of identities as a member of a family, as a Chinese, and as a Korean.

I experiment with metaphors, which symbolize my feelings towards my family. For example, a lot of the work that I have made is intentionally oversized. Because I travel and move around a lot, I purposefully make my work difficult to move in protest of my current situation. In addition, I like to use clay because the fragility of fired clay reflects the delicate state of my familial relationship.

As an international student, English is my third language. I am still learning how to speak it well. The English language became an important part of my work: because it is a language that most of my family is unable to understand, I consider it my secret language. Using the English language allows me to express my true, personal emotions that I am not allowed to express in either Korean or Chinese.

Growing up in a culture that disagrees with personal expression still makes it challenging for me to fully expose my feelings in my artwork despite the language barrier. My own imperfect English and handwriting and the inability to communicate effectively in any of the three languages I speak is paramount to the content of this body of work.