Being a group made up of many international students, it was clear from the get-go that we wanted to tackle the area of cultural barriers for the Mending Wall project. The area of cultural barriers is hard to fully understand unless you have experienced it first-hand: the isolation, the lack of understanding, the suppression of familiar habits, and the uncertainty about new expectations. At first we were thinking about portraying the frustration of not being able to fully associate with other people around, but after many discussions and interviews with people from varying cultural backgrounds and histories, we decided to change direction and make the overall tone of the piece hopeful. In this new concept, we are hoping to communicate the beauty of not only the uniqueness of individual cultures, but also the greater beauty in harmonious multiculturalism. In the past, geography and methods of transportation separated groups of people, causing them to form their own traditions, standards, and languages. However, now that we have developed airplanes, the internet, and other tools that bring the world closer together, those barriers are now removed. In their place, there are the powerful cultural barriers that have been formed over many years. I can only hope that the ongoing relations between people of varying cultures will be as peaceful and graceful as our proposed work.
– The piece would consist of five one-inch thick wooden canvases
– 4 of these would be 12×12 squares
– The last one would be a 16×24 rectangle
– Each canvas would be primed white as the base background color, painted with acrylics, and finished with a weather-proof gloss.
– Each of the 4 square canvases would feature a container that relates to and represents a specific culture:
– On the left side, representing American culture, there is paint can.
– In the center at the top, representing European culture, is an English teapot.
– In the center right below the last, representing African culture, is an earthen
– On the right side, representing Asian culture, is an oriental jar.
– The canvases would be arranged in such a way that the four containers, in addition to representing cultures, would portray the four directions: West, North, South, and East.
– Each of the portrayed containers would be tilted, pouring out its contents: a solid colored liquid.
– Each would have a different solid color, representing the uniqueness of its own
– On the biggest canvas, the center piece located below the four smaller ones, the four colored liquids would intermix, causing a wispy rainbow of interweaving colors.
– The break between the separate canvases is intentional, representing the invisible wall of cultural barriers.
– In addition, it also serves to not only emphasize the beauty of each individual
culture/color, but also to show the greater beauty of their harmonious
– Wood Canvas 18×24 $12.20
– 4 Wood Canvases 12×12 $16.80
– 2 Acrylic paint sets $49.98
– Brush set $37.93
– Large brush $4.99
– Weatherproof gloss finish $5.99
– Zip-ties $7.76