ARTIST: YUJIA GU
EXHIBITION: TRACING GUN VIOLENCE IN THE USA
MEDIA: GRAPHIC DESIGN
GALLERY: DUTZI GALLERY
SOCIAL MEDIA: yujiagu.squarespace.com
The artist of this exhibition Yujia Gu is a graduate student in the process of obtaining her Master of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in Graphic Design. Prior to pursing her Master’s degree Gu came to the United States as an international student from China. Which on China she obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design as well.
To convey her message throughout her exhibition, Gu used vinyl sticker material. It was used to demonstrate statistics, a repetitive message of gun violence across one of the walls and her title of the exhibition. In addition, Gu used technology to demonstrate countries around the world where gun violence is reported. In addition she has a recording of her mother and Gu translating which is based on her mother’s concerns with her daughter’s safety. Lastly, a powerful image in hung featuring the images of many children who have been victims of gun violence. As Gu stated she made this piece in black and white because she believes it conveys a more powerful meaning as it impacts the audience instead of it being in color.
The purpose of this exhibition is to promote awareness of gun violence mainly in the United States, but also from other countries. This message does not only go out to international students who wish to study in the United States, but are concerned for the gun violence heard that happens frequently in the U.S. This message goes out to others already in the United States, so they too can know how serious this issue is. It took a year of research to put this exhibition together, moreover Gu shared that once she began research for this topic she became interested in different cultures as well and how the gun violence affects them. Gu took the risk to move from China to the United States to study here, even though her mother was concerned for her safety since China hears of the awful gun violence that occurs and many targets of this problem are international students. It has been three years since Gu has lived here in the United States and in a way has accepted the gun violence constantly heard throughout the country. However, she hopes for gun control to improve and people become more aware of the problem and take action to help lower this type of violence.
To me personally this exhibition was very powerful. Especially when Gu told us that compared to China where carrying a gun is illegal, people here in the United States are constantly buying guns and voting against gun regulations. My opinion on guns is not completely against it nor is it completely for it. Like everything else it is upsetting that in the hands of the wrong people, terrible things happen especially when innocent lives are involved. In contrast, I do find a gun can obviously serve for its purpose of a form of protection. Nonetheless, this exhibition did bring awareness to me and shocked me in a way how the gun violence in the United States is compared to other countries such as Canada.