Introduce yourself and your work. What ideas and themes are important to you?
My name is Dan Zuo and I come from China. Spring Festival has always been the most important festival for Chinese people. It means the beginning of New Year. People bid farewell to the past, greet New Year’s Day, and people feel their lives are full of vitality and hope. I have always been interested in how the royal family celebrated Chinese New Year in ancient China. I believe that exploring traditional Chinese New Year process will give me a deeper understanding of my own culture background.
What materials do you use? Why are they important to your practice?
I used handmade natural paints, handmade paper, handmade shell gold and I did all the materials by myself. I learnt how to make them in my first year in PFSTA and I noticed that it is so important for traditional paintings. Chinese traditional paintings use similar mineral materials and shell gold for paintings and I chose to use the same materials without hesitation. I believe it is the best way for me to study Chinese Painting and get closer to it.
How has the lock-down influenced your work? What new things have emerged in your work because of the restrictions?
I was planning to do a big ceramic plate with Chinese patterns and some porcelain jewelries. But we had no access to the workshop because of the lockdown so I had to give up these ideas. I paid more attention to my paintings and I designed more patterns according to my research.
What drew you to the School, and what do you want to remember about these last two years?
I have to say two-year study in PFSTA is a turning point in my life. I was confused about my future when I finished my bachelor degree, I came to our school because of my interests in traditional techniques but I really didn’t know much about it. It was a unfamiliar field for me. But after two years, I believe this is what I want to do in my career and I will keep working on this journey.
When we’re all able to be out in the world again, what are your hopes?
Treat our earth properly and cherish everything we have.