Birthday Shape

July 10, 2010

Many people are interested in astrology – “the study of the movements of the planets, the sun, the moon, and the stars with a belief that these movements can have an influence on people's lives”. Since the theory lacks scientific proof, people generally consider it as somewhat superstitious. However, traditional Chinese philosophy explains it in the way that people receive specific rays of light from the universe during a specific period and these different rays influence people’s characters as long as they live. For example, people will have a very close relationship with medicine if they have received rays from a star named “doctor” when they were born. It means these people will have a great interest in medicine and possess a very strong potential to become a doctor when they grow up.

The pattern of the “Birthday Shape “ is based on the  time, dates and people’s year of birth, together with the color shifting between his/her favorite color and least favorite color.  I am interested in exploring the relationship between people’s personalities and their birthday shapes. In addition, I regard Birthday Shapes as the portraits of people’s personalities and I believe that people who have similar Birthday Shapes can easily get along with each other.

--by Yuanyuan Li--March 2009

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My father’s Birthday Shape:
When I crocheted my dad’s birthday shape (27"x27"), one of the biggest shapes in the project, I realized that he was pretty old. I felt that the warm, soft and big blanket looked like a portrait of my father’s portrait that captured him as  a steady, lenient, strong and mild man. I could not help hugging it and missing him.

My best friend, Ada's, Birthday Shape:
She is a very retional and detail-oriented M.B.A.  Meanwhile, her birthday shape also shows those characteristics.  

My Pink&Red Birthday Shape:
Actually, I do not know what kind of person I am, but all of my friends say I looks exactly like my birthday shape.

Ada and Me:
Sometimes, I am curious why Ada and I can get along so well although we all admit that we are so different. But, the birthday shapes tell the answer.

 
Pattern of Birthday Shape: 

Time:
The 1st round: 24 stitches represent 24 hours. The favorite color is the background and the least favorite color is the birth time. Taking the right chart as an example, the person whose favorite color is green and least favorite color is red was born at 8 o'clock in the morning.

Date:
Start from the favorite color. When you reach the birth date, add a knot. The number of stitches between two knots is the birth date. As the right chart shows, the birth date is 11th 
 

 Month:
One round represents one month. Once you reach the birth month, switch to the other color. As the right chart shows, the birth month is February. 

 Year:
The number of rounds will depend on the person's age. The format is "Current Year- Birth Year=The Number of Rounds". As the right chart shows, the person is 9 years old in 2009.
 

Rootless Plum Tree

July 10, 2010
Translation of poem:
The Plum Blossom
I thought I saw snow on this cold wintry day.
Flowers of White glowing against the dark wall.
Not until the scent of blossom reached me, did I know the Plum thrived one season more.

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In traditional Chinese culture, the plum tree symbolizes resolve, longevity and optimism because it blossoms only after a snow fall on  cold winter days while other flowers wither.  When I was in China, I saw plum flowers very often, thus I neglected to re...
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Artist's Statement

July 10, 2010

Crochet sculptures play a main role in Yuanyuan Li’s work. They visualize the methods that Yuanyuan Li observes and understands in the environment and society she lives in and the people she connects with. The shapes of her crochet-sculptures are usually based on updating data, which comes from her personal experience, social community and daily life. As a result, growing becomes one of the most important and specific characteristics of Yuanyuan’s crochet pieces because of updating data. ...


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Jewelry Makers

March 17, 2010
As a sculptor, I have always been interested in exploring the relationship between the human world and the natural world.  The arena of jewelry, in my opinion, marries the values of the human world with those of the natural world.  Every piece of jewelry contains the value of the natural material and the value of the jewelry maker at the same time. Unlike other areas of sculpture, jewelry making provides the scale to measure the value of the two worlds against each other. Through his/her inte...
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Who is the leader of fashion?

March 1, 2010

First I want to clarify my understanding of the definition of a fashion leader. He/she should have two necessary characteristics: 1. He/she is a person who creates ideas first in their fashion arena 2. He/she has a huge group of followers. A person who has a large following but was not the first creator of an idea cannot be considered as a leader of fashion. Similarly, a person who has an idea first that many are not interested in following cannot be a leader either.

There is no doubt that t...


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calendor proposal

November 20, 2009

My artwork has a close connection with my life’s experience as a Chinese student in the United States. I have been seeking my life's trajectory within the process of my artistic creation to bridge the “gap” between China and the USA in terms of distance, time differences, and conflicts of cultural values. Although most people believe the language barrier is the greatest difficulty to overcome, it is actually the differences between our two cultures that prove to be a greater challenge. ...


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Thesis proposal

November 20, 2009

In traditional Chinese philosophy, the “natural world” contains three parts:  the sky, consisting of every planet in the universe, the Earth, including the physical sphere of the Earth and all creatures except humans, and the air between the sky and the Earth, including the weather. Additionally, the “human world” involves physiology, psychology, morality, social systems, and so forth. The traditional Chinese philosophy believes that the unity of the “natural world” and the “hum...


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