Wk 9 – Artist Conversation – Yujia (Beatrice) Gu
Artist: Yujia (Beatrice) Gu
Exhibition: Information Graphic Design
Media: Pictograms, Graphic Design
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
Beatrice is a senior here at CSULB, she doesn’t need anymore credits but is graduating in spring. Beatrice’s original name is Yujia Gu and she is from Beijing China where both her parents live, she herself is an only child. Currently she lives in an apartment near school and Jack in the Box. Beatrice finds graphic design very interesting and appreciates relating numbers to our society today, and she used to help volunteer for the Special Olympics.
There were two major works in Beatrice’s Exhibition: Information Graphic Design. One was titled “Special Olympic Games Pictogram–San Francisco” and the other was named “Popular Names (1900-2000)”. Beatrice’s first art piece demonstrates an ink like texture and was printed on a poster board or the wall. The colors are mainly orange and blue, along with the black, green, yellow, and red circular Olympics symbol. Each small stick figure demonstrated in her work is portrayed with lines, dots, and circles, overall demonstrating a very smooth appearance. Her second art piece was a projection onto the wall. This projection exhibited several different popular names, as well as the amount of people associated to it in different colors.
For Beatrice’s first art piece, “Special Olympic Games Pictogram–San Francisco”, she told me that she attempted to show the connection between one’s body and the Golden Gate Bridge. Studying her works, you can see that each shape of the person has either a very straight stance, or a smooth directed curve. When comparing this to the bridge, you can see a sense of strength and structure within the body, meaning to represent society today. Additionally, the bodies are colored orange and blue, the shared colors of the Golden Gate Bridge. With the common shared strength of a bridge, which often represent connections and unity, we can see how the Olympics symbolize the unity of a society. For her second art piece, “Popular Names (1900-2000)”, Beatrice comprises another sense of unity, but with names. In China, where she grew up, children are named based on specific information in that time frame. She was curious, for this reason, to establish an understanding on if Americans have a similar system. With her projection, the most popular names of the year move up and the less popular ones move down in rank as the year changes. As these 10 names float around the board, we are able to visualize the change in our society’s names and preferences, altogether working as a functioning system and allowing us to see how society’s mind changes as a whole.
Synthesis / My Experience
I find Beatrice’s work to be compelling in that it reflects upon a view of a society’s unity. Whether we realize it or not, society can change tremendously, offering a similar view or preference across the map of an entire nation. Something as simple as naming a child can contribute to a statistic. I feel as though names offer a very important identity factor to an individual, whether we like to admit it or not. My name, Shannon, was very popular when my parents were children. While I was named after the Irish Shannon River, I find it very rare to find another Shannon that isn’t in their 40s. Along with this “coincidence” I realize that I often share many of the same ideals and personalities with people my parent’s age, rather than what I consider to be the more “laid back” style of our youth today. What I mean to say is that names can often reflect the tradition of a society, I think that by visually being able to analyze Beatrice’s work, I was able to better understand that there is unity within our nation even in the most subtle action of naming a child.