For my final project in a laser cutting class, I created an anamorphic sculpture which revealed a different image depending on which side of the sculpture was being looked at. I chose to contrast eastern and western sculptures. On one side, I created a representation based of the Bust of “Greek Slave” by Hiram Powers (circa 1848) and on the other, a representation based off a Sanxingdui bronze mask from China approximately dated to have been created during the Shang dynasty (1600-1046 BC).
As a Chinese-American, I have very complicated feelings about the tensions between eastern and western cultures and how they have influenced the person I am today. As part of my anamorphic sculpture, I wanted to contrast two “faces” from art of these two cultures and of very different artistic styles. The Sanxingdui bronze mask is abstract, ancient and almost otherworldly - a form that stuck with me after I was able to see it in person when visiting the town my mom grew up in during a visit to Sichuan, China. The Bust is elegant and realistic in addition to being from an artwork that inspired abolitionist and women’s rights activism in America. For me, they were the perfect two to combine in a dynamic sculptural form.
Materials & Techniques
The sculpture was created by lasercutting neon acrylic. I traced forms from the artworks to create layers of increasing detail and then fed these images into a Julia language script I wrote as part of the class to generate svgs of the beams to be cut. You can find that script on my github here.