Wen-Hao Tien on “Weed Out”: Wanted vs. Unwanted, an Artistic Experiment (#126)
Our Guest Today: Wen-Hao Tien
Wen-hao Tien is a visual artist, educator, and Assistant Director of Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies, Regional Studies.
Between 9/22-10/19. 2017 at the New Art Center in Newton, MA, Wen-Hao is showcasing a new collection called Weed Out.
I had the pleasure to visit her studio in Cambridge, where she transferred these wild weeds from random locations into a home garden. Along the way, she took pictures of these plants before they found their new home, and pictures of herself and people she encountered.
First I was puzzled by this, but very quickly through our conversation, I understood the act and intention behind it. On my way home that day, I began to notice things.
“Throughout the Process of Looking Even More Brought Very Deep Thoughts and Contemplation to My Consciousness.”
Wen-hao grew-up in Taiwan and later moved to the United States to pursue graduate studies. She began her academic pursues in biomedical sciences, and then to social studies and visual art. Her studio artwork focuses on language and translation, and explores culture and identity through a unique cross-cultural lens. She is also known for her contemporary Chinese calligraphy and painting.
“Artists Have to Make a Living. There Are Things They Make to Sell, and Things They Make to Advance Themselves.”
In addition to Wen-hao’s new collection “Weed Out”, you will also discover her journey in becoming an artist. How does someone learn to be an artist? Where does it begin? Are there any shortcuts? Wen-hao couldn’t be more honest and transparent from her early years as a student living not far from New York City, to attending workshops at a local studio that became a turning point for her as an artist.
To learn more about Wen-hao Tien, please visit her website https://www.wenhaotien.com/
- [06:30] What’s the “Weed Out” exhibition about?
- [08:00] How do you capture plants into art?
- [09:00] What do you think about people taking care of their garden based on new trends and fashion?
- [10:00] How did you do to get where you are today? What was your journey like as an independent artist?
- [13:00] What have you noticed when you slow down and to observe more?
- [17:00] Can you share a bit of what you do outside your own studio?
- [19:00] You were a very talented scientist, but you transitioned to an artist. How was that like?
- [20:00] What was it like to live near NYC (as an artist) – opportunities or setbacks?
- [24:00] What are some of your advice to young artists?
- [27:00] As an artist, how do you know you’ve found a good environment to work with?
- [30:00] Fei and Wenhao discussing about originality vs inspiring from other artists to both make a living and also advanced themselves.
- [36:00] How do you organize yourself, and get access to galleries and expositions? Do you have a social media manager?
- [38:00] How do you see traditinal arts vs modern works? How’s the process different/similar?
[11:00] This process is not unlike the process of a painter, and I enjoy preparing the material from the ground up, laying the field, preparing the paper …
[12:00] I learned that the subject, weed, most people have personal stories they could share, so it’s a very fundamental element of everyone’s life….
[14:00] This is a fundamental need for me, to observe and to look. Throughout the process of looking even more brought very deep thoughts and contemplation to my consciousness.
[20:00] NYC gave the permission, and a route to become and artist. It was long coming, it took a long time, but steadily i worked very hard to be able to have a voice.
[31:00] Artists have to make a living. There are things they make to sell, and things they make to advance themselves. This is a big challenge for most of us.
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