Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2018

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

Author Department/Program

Graduate School of Art

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art

Degree Type



Culture shock, or culture conflict, is the unfamiliarity or disorientation an individual experiences after encountering a culture different than their own. To better understand the people around us who share a different culture and the way of life it creates, we need to first respect and understand their culture. In general, Chinese culture stresses that individuals must see themselves as part of a larger group for the benefit of society, while American culture stresses the importance of individualism.

Based on my experiences in graphic design, I decided to further my studies in a studio art context to understand how the cultures of artists affect their artwork. It is important for us to have a basic sense of other cultures to appreciate the value of human development, as well as, appreciating the different forms of beauty that make the world more interesting to explore. This appreciation of beauty and human development is often encountered when experiencing works of art and design.

The issues which arise from cyber bullying reach across the globe, and I have seen them firsthand throughout my life. It is my goal to delve into this issue and compare how individuals from different cultural backgrounds react to this issue. For this project, I surveyed the responses regarding the issue of cyber bullying from Americans, Chinese-American, and Chinese international students, in order to understand how one’s culture influences the opinions people form on the issue. I created several art works to share with the viewer my results.


English (en)

Program Director

Patricia Olynyk

Program Director's Department

Graduate School of Art

Thesis Advisor

Buzz Spector

Studio/Primary Advisor

Heather Bennett

Studio/Primary Advisor

Jamie Adams

Committee Member

Sage Dawson

Committee Member

Sage Dawson

Artist's Statement

My work focuses on the cultural conflicts of China and America. While the Internet is convenient and for some crucial in how we operate our social lives, it does not come without its problems. People type words without considering the consequences. In this era of the Internet, no one has to be responsible for what they do online. Cyber bullying and American cultural backgrounds and their opinions about this issue. How do people react, how do they respond to the problem, etc. I am using my work to raise awareness of the issue, and to prevent it from getting worse.

Based upon my research into the cyber bullying issue, I developed a type of work combining the cultures of China and America, using old clothes to represent the human presence. These fabrics are torn into pieces and reunited as a whole representing the psychological responses from a survey I created concerning cyber bullying. The fluidity of the fabric becomes both words and feelings.

In another body of work I highlight the difference between the American and Chinese culture using porcelain. Porcelain is one of the signature products that comes from China. Using the qualities of firmness and fragility, smoothness and sharpness, I am representing human characteristics. Humans seem strong but they can be tender inside. They are pleasant to others who are friendly, but can also defend themselves from those who are not. The broken and healing process is my next step in combining Chinese and American cultures. I hope to create a dialogue as to how we can better understand each other and be more comfortable together.

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