MFA Thesis in Hochschule Trier • Idar-Oberstein • 2020
"Coming from an architectural background being trained to design space for working and living, Pei-Hsuan Wu turned her inner eye 180° to focus on personal objects for body, soul and mind. Thus, one cannot be too astonished about the title of her thesis: "Parent, Past Life, Teddy Bear" in which she researched parent-child relationships.
During her colloquium, Pei concluded her defense: "There is always a quite strong, sometimes even violent action that deforms the material, and leaves a permanent mark even I put a lot of effort to free the deformed part. At the same time, although the material is deformed with tension, squeezed by pressure, the sense of gentle, warm and protective is always present. The contradictory and complex feeling and emotion is a core essence that I’m trying to capture in my work.“
What describes the special bond between children and their parents is certainly not only expressed in the form of the jewels, but also in the use of the main material stone. Of course, one may expect graduates of the Idar-Oberstein University of Applied Sciences to work with gemstone - it is our unique characteristic. Nevertheless, Pei has excellently understood how to let the material's intrinsics speak for and elegantly use them for her subject: hard, durable - for humans even "eternal" - cold at the first touch, but warming when touched and worn. Even though Xiao (the Chinese concept of respecting and supporting the elderly with all one's heart and submitting to their authority) is essential to this work, there is a heartbreaking ambiguity to each piece - it is a symbol of the pains of growing up, spreading one's wings, and coming off to finally take full responsibility."
/ Prof. Theo Smeets
孝 Xiào (filial piety) • Pei Wu • 2020 • Rose quartz, 14ct gold
Am I Bad Kid? • Pei Wu • 2020 • Rhodochrosite, silver, steel wire
What formed us?
What affected our personality?
The starting point was from the personal story between my parents and I, after I slowly realized how deeply I was formed and affected by my mum especially.Later on, by collecting more stories from others, the research extended to the level of society. I found out the parent-child relationship has been discussed in different cultures for a long history.
For instance, starting from psychoanalysis in the end of the 19 century, psychologists generally agreed that our early childhood is the most crucial period of time in which our personality has been built. Therefore the adults who took care of us in our early childhood, most of the time are parents, would be the most effective influence. On the other hand, for thousands of years in part of the eastern culture, recently can be seen in western psychological discussion, the influence of individuals can be chased back to the farther past, even before this life. Reincarnation, the belief of past life, believes the fate between the children and their parents is very deep, the bond has been built through many lives, with causal relationships. The assumption of an invisible bond that connects both sides can depict the invaluable and heavy feature of the parent-child relationship.
Is This My Own Voice? • Pei Wu • 2020 • Smoky quartz, mixed gemstones, silver, steel wire
Apart from the external influence, our own will is also a strong force leading ourselves. We name it “mind” or “consciousness”, what it exactly is, is one of the biggest mysteries in the 21st century. Scientists revealed how mysterious and incomprehensible our mind is through many experiments. From the theory of quantum physics; although no one can explain it all yet; we can sense that it might be unbelievably powerful and effective our mind is.
We sometimes are against our parents, sometimes feeling not fitting in the surrounding. Along with the image that we project ourselves as and the image we imagine ourselves to be, I use a metaphor “teddy bear” to sort of giving the feeling of privacy and ownership of ourselves. The parent-child relationship can be life-long homework for both sides. The struggle, the pressure makes us breathless, the fight between our inner strength and the outer force can be very intense. However, they are wrapped with love and care. If we don’t discuss the extreme cases.
To Leave Hold of • Pei Wu • 2020 • Rock crystal, pink opal, mangano calcite
You can often see my work has two elements with a third part in-between. Sometimes the two parts are absent, only the interference remains. There is always a quite strong, sometimes even violent action that deforms the material, and leaves a permanent mark even I put a lot of effort to free the deformed part. At the same time, although the material is deformed with tension, squeezed by pressure, the sense of gentle, warm, and protective is always present. The contradictory and complex feeling and emotion is a core essence that I’m trying to capture in my work.
Hangman's Bond • Pei Wu • 2020 • Rock crystal, silver, cotton