You thought you are the center of the universe
August 21 - October 5
Motherhood brought out a different perspective in my life on how we understand love. After the 2016 election, I found even newer meanings about this perspective. The current work was initiated and inspired by my own thoughts through raising my daughter. In a child’s development, I found that it is important to let the child understand the idea of “self” to develop one’s individual identity, but at the same time, it is also important to teach the child about the idea of sharing, and that we are all connected with one another in this universe.
In this world we live in, the idea of white privilege is implicitly embedded in everyday life, either we aware of it or not. Even in Taiwan where I grew up, we had only beautiful white dolls to symbolize the ultimate beauty, and white foreigners were more popular and respected in our little society. We did not know what racism was nor white superiority. This culture was such that everyone thought things were just the way they were; until one day, the perception was broken, we all woke up and we were taught that everyone was created equal, and we all collectively contribute to this beautiful world.
Letter to my daughter in the future: Dear daughter, growing up with you every minute has been the sweetest moments in my life, and we bathe you with all our love. But one day you might learn that someone would dislike you because the color of your skin, or the way you talk, or your gender, or even the name I gave you. That is ok because you are still loved. I hope that, despite these unpleasant experiences in the future, you will still have compassion in your heart, know that the universe is dependent on all living beings. Even though, you are not at the center of the universe anymore, the universe is a much more beautiful and peaceful place when we all lived in balance.
For more than two decades, Jan-Ru Wan has been reusing found objects, especially those discarded from industrial factories, in her sculpture and installation work, re-inventing and elevating their original purpose. Her unique way of incorporating wildly diverse materials with layers of repetition and creating a space of awe is the signature of her installation works.
Throughout Wan’s career, she has participated in 28 solo exhibitions and 44 group exhibitions, including the 1st International Biennial of Casablanca at the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Art in Taiwan; the Yango-Biennial in Kinshasa, Congo, and her solo exhibition at the Mint Museum in Charlotte NC. Her work has been featured in Surface Design Magazine and Sculpture Magazine, as well as, The National Art Education Association Anthology: Globalization, Art, and Education, which devoted an entire chapter on her work. In 2006, The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee honored Wan with the GOLD award, recognizing her as the Graduate of the Last Decade. Wan was the recipient of North Carolina’s 2008 Visual Art Fellowship. She has been awarded artist residencies in Taiwan, Thailand, Morocco, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the United States.