Week 11 – Artist Conversation – Yujia Gu

Exhibit Information:

Artist: Yujia Gu
Exhibition: Tracing Gun Violence in the USA
Media: print
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery
Website: yujiagu.squarespace.com

Yujia Gu is in her last semester for her masters of fine arts in printmaking. After college, she is hoping to find a career as a publisher in newspapers. s She started her journey in printmaking in China as she grew up there and studied printmaking in college.  Her interest in art started at a young age as she would always draw and paint all the time as a kid.

Yujia has been living here in the U.S for almost three years.  She first stayed in New York for three months.  She shared that she loved the city life with all of the craziness and business of the city.  However, once she came to Long Beach, she fell more in love with the laid back vibe in Long Beach.  Furthermore, the vibe is also reminded her of her home.  As a student, Yujia felt such a culture shock, especially regarding our education system.  She pointed out that here in U.S we have a different kind of teaching style that reinforces creative freedom and self-reliance, whereas in China had more of structure and guidelines to follow.

Her inspiration for this exhibit was her mom’s lecture to her about gun violence in America when she was planning on moving to the U.S.  The lecture was hopefully to stop her from coming here, but it actually created curiosity in her that wanted to learn and discover more about this stigma.  Therefore, she began researching about statistics and the culture of guns in the U.S.  The exhibition in particularly highlights the shootings in Newton, where several children and staff in the Sandy Hook were horrendously killed by gun violence.  Her project was to bring awareness to this stigma and hopefully inspire people to take action against gun violence.

This exhibition is definitely my favorite so far because it relates so much to my generation.  For some odd reason, our generation has suffered the most with gun violence that contributed to many deaths, partisan in the government and distrust amongst the people.  Furthermore, the opening of her exhibition was also ironic especially that earlier this week another shooting occurred in San Bernardino.  This exhibition brought out statistics that were horrifying that needed to be seen and taken seriously because it is a problem in our society that needs to be fixed.  Therefore,  as college students and the future leaders of this country,  will learn from these misfortunes and make changes that will save lives and not be loyalists to special interest groups, like the NRA, that blames others for this stigma.

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