By Freddie Yu

16-year-old artist Freddie Yu is leading a group of Generation Z artists born after 2000 to host an exhibition at GinkGoSpace gallery from July 8th through July 10th 2017. The show incorporates a variety of art forms–including painting, line winding, and sculpture–to feature sustainable development of urbanization. The exhibition is lively and fascinating, attracting a large crowd of audience and receiving high remarks from visitors.

The initiator and main artist of the exhibition, Freddie Yu, a junior at Brimmer and May School, shares with the reporter his motivation and ideas to create artworks and put together this show.

Q: Could you please explain your purpose to launch the exhibition?
A: I create 14 of the artworks on display, while the other 3 are from my friends. My purpose in creating this exhibition is to bring people’s attention toward the neglected issue of urbanization and how it can lead to a loss of culture. I hope people can take a moment and stop by at my exhibition from their fast-paced lives and recognize the significance of one’s culture.

Q: How do your ideas and creativity come into being?
A: The idea of an urbanization exhibition emerged during my time at the Brown Leadership Institute. As we discussed the topic of global development and globalization, the issue of urbanization occurred to me under the influence of both my concern for the world and my passion for architecture. Furthermore, during my time at Yale Young Global Scholars, I also considered how to promote cultural sustainability in a city.

My purpose in creating this exhibition is to bring people’s attention toward the neglected problem of urbanization and how it can lead to a loss of culture. I hope people can take a moment and stop by at my exhibition from their fast-paced lives and realize the significance of one’s culture.

Origin of Space, the installation piece, attempts to create an artistic space that allows people to walk through and quaff, while also being part of the scenery. Last summer in Beijing, I came upon Kengo Kuma’s the Commune by the Great Wall of China. His ability to tamper with space was truly inspiring. In Kuma’s design, bamboo was applied extensively throughout the house to shape boundaries in the form of light screens. The utilization of light and transparency through the light screens was captivating. Since the viewer is surrounded by bamboos, one can look through them and see the Great Wall while feeling immersed within the scenery itself. The idea to use a single material, in this case bamboo, as both a structural element and a decorative element also gave me many insights. I hope this piece can inspire people to reflect back on where our cities began and how it has developed, and further realize the significance of one’s or a city’s original culture.

Q: How do you interpret your own creation?
A: Rise, the painting using acrylic and oil pastel, represents another aspect of my exhibition. This painting was mainly inspired by graffiti art. Both traditional expressions of art and graffiti intrigues me, motivating me to embrace different cultures and understand their significances.

Freddie and his friends’ exhibition attracts lots of arts professionals curious about Generation Z, along with amateurs from various background. Many visitors express that Generation Z has a keen awareness of globalization and cultural perception. The audience believe and hope that Gen Z artists would let Chinese culture shine in the process of globalization with their unique perspectives and efforts.

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