When Traditional Craftsmanship Encounters Technology: A Retrospective Presentation of a Biennale Artist’s Artistic Path Over the Last 25 Years

By Eva Man-Wah Yuen.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The author was invited to participate in the 5th Biennale of Sydney 1984: Private Symbol and Social Metaphor. Since then, she has continued the artistic development of her private symbols and has examined their meanings in wider social and cultural contexts. The manner of her research is both creative and academic. She looks into the Chinese folk craft as a source of creative and innovative inspiration. At the same time, within this frame of reference, she also tackles the issues of dramatic changes in human behavior arising from the digital reasoning that has challenged our analog perception since the last decade.

The cognitive issues include the tension between old and new, ritual and virtual, global and local, modern and postmodern. In the paper, she will begin by illustrating how humble materials such as bamboo splits and rice paper have traditionally been transformed into sculpture and community art. From this understanding of how clever hands implicitly made decisions about the appropriateness and use of these materials’ properties, she explores the transformation of the traditional Chinese craftsmanship into an explicit
knowledge-database, which allows art projects of large scales in terms of flexibility and sustainability, dimension and security, and impacts on cultural practice and economic activities.

Keywords: Creative Cognition, Tangible and Intangible Materials, Explicit and Implicit Craftsmanship, Chinese Folk Craft and Source of Inspiration

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp.235-242. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.116MB).

Dr. Eva Man-Wah Yuen

Senior Lecturer, School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China

Eva Yuen has worldwide experience in conducting public and community art projects and organizing educational programmes catering for tertiary institutions and the general public in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada and U.S.A. She initiated conceptual ideas for the projects executed in Heide Park and Art Gallery, Australia; at the Elizabeth Walk, Singapore; in Van Dusen Botanical Garden, Canada; and at City Art Gallery, New Zealand. Her strength is to integrate creativity, visual experience and sensation within the context of regional and global perspectives. Yuen has been researching the issues of design cognition. One of her recent interests is to explore the creative cognitive approach to both implicit and explicit media in terms of the human-machine interface; and to mind-map the thinking process of constructing physical and virtual models.


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