Manuscript of Nature V and IV by Cui Fei
Installation, tendrils, dimensions variable, 2002-present
Installation view from New Britain Museum of American Art, 2007
What do you consider about the relationship between you and nature?
Cui Fei, a Chinese artist who moved to New York City to pursue her artistic career. She usually like to use many natural materials produces her installations.
Miss. Cui developed a solid foundation in a wide variety of media, including drawing, painting, sculpture and calligraphy. Her artworks always using calligraphy and natural materials to evoke the relationship of human and nature. Both the concept of nature in her Chinese heritage, which emphasizes the interconnectedness of all beings, and the Western theory of Transculture, which stresses living beyond the limitations of any particular culture, offer her a unique vision to view the relationships between cultural differences; between culture and nature; and between nature and human beings
She has made the series of Manuscript of Nature installations. The most impressive are the Fourth and Fifth.
Manuscript of Nature V: She uses Chinese Characters as a way to express the relationship between human and the nature. Emphasizing the important of nature has the huge impact of our life and culture. Using Calligraphy, writing and meaning in a very unusual way.
The shapes of the characters are using computer design and print them out and transfer the image onto the platform fill with sand. To my view, these characters look like inscriptions on bones, the language of original natives (with an elegant way). Every character has a similar spatial distance. Branches with thicker as the main body and slimmer as the ramification. Using wood, branches to make characters, but there are no meaning of every characters. It may want to show that the soundless message from nature. Nature itself is already a language. Different countries and regions have their own languages and cultures. Difference may create barrier between people and people. However, Nature is the media that can relate all of us from different race, different background and countries into one union.
Manuscript of Nature IV: The piece of using seeds pretend as Braille, as a viewer, It seems to bring out the message that nature is not only for sight-seeing, but human and nature can be connected by touching and feeling. People and nature is interactive which is not unidirectional.
According what she has done and said in interview, I analyze she sees nature as consistent and ordered, thus providing a therapeutic agent for healing and harmony in an otherwise chaotic world. She utilize materials found in nature, such as tendrils, leaves and thorns composing a manuscript symbolizing the voiceless messages in nature that are waiting to bediscovered and to be heard.
After appreciated her works, it shows that nature and human is inseparable. Nature creates us, creates our culture, build up our relationship and helps us develop. At the same time, we develop nature as well. We can touch and feel them in every daily life. We are connected with each other in a very invisible but close relationship, but the only thing is we don’t recognize it and discover the messages in nature.
Language is a way to let people understand nature. However, is it the probable way for us to get a higher understanding of nature through decoding (e.g. words/language) or giving a shape for it that we know?