Taiwanese visiting artist Pei-Yu Lee led a workshop at the Brentwood Art Center on Saturday, Sep. 15th 2018 followed by a two-day showcase of participants’ works in the artist’s live-work studio at 18th Street Arts Center. This event was presented in conjunction with a three-month residency supported by the Ministry of Culture (Taiwan) and the Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles.
The workshop, collaborated with the 18th Street Arts Center and Brentwood Art Center, invited participants to create an artwork inspired by the shape of their homes, using a mixture of ball clay and locally sourced soil from land that was once inhabited by Tongva Native Americans (People of the Earth). Participants were asked to bring photos of their home as an inspiration for their works. All works created by workshop participants were presented at 18th Street Arts Center on Monday, September 17 and Tuesday, September 18, followed by a public closing reception for the artist, workshop participants, and invited guests.
The workshop itself attracted full house of attendees and was very well received by the local communities in Los Angeles. Many attending parents applauded the opportunity for their kids to learn about arts around the world. After the whole project was completed, the clay was placed back into the land from where the soil was borrowed and disintegrated back into the land over time, which completed the cycle of mother nature and her relationship with human.
Pei-Yu Lee, a Taiwan-based artist and was graduated from Tainan University of Art, is interested in the early inhabitants’ emotional ties to particular territories and the struggles they experience as the housing developments grows across the west side. This workshop was inspired by a series of ceramic utensils she made in Taiwan back in 2016, called “Come Eat Dust Together”, where she used soil from contaminated sites in Taiwan to create the utensils.
Lee has cycled through identities that have emerged from her experience working through different occupations. By becoming these iconic characters (Betel Nut Beauty, Life Drawing Model, Truck Hawker, Pottery Maker, and Artist), she finds a way to observe power and hierarchy in society. Through her performative and sculptural work, she places herself and her family contextually and makes connections to a broader civic culture. Lee has shown her works extensively throughout Taiwan and Southeast Asia.