By Bendik Sorensen
Jianan Li, an MFA Fine Art student from Shandong, China, and Sofie Hoff, a senior Fine Arts major from Malmö, Sweden, held opening receptions for their solo art exhibitions on Wednesday, October 22. Both artists use nature as major parts of their work. Li’s show was held in the Student Art League Gallery in the Hillwood Commons. The show, named “Existence,” is a collection of photographs, ceramics and sculpting. The show was inspired by peace in nature. “I was in a field of reeds, and it was so peaceful,” the artist said. With her show, she’s aiming to emphasize “the natural you.”
That natural you, she says, is you alone in nature. The sculp- tures are made of driftwood along with ceramic faces covered in a leaf on each forehead. “I found the driftwood in Oyster Bay,” she said, with the sculptures resembling that lonely, natural self. “These natural drift- woods, symbolizes the past time. After years of exposure to weather and rain, driftwoods become more tenacious, tougher and smoother. Human life seems like the microcosm of the driftwood” the artist writes in her statement. “Putting masks on the wood and leaving every mask with a leaf, is my way of express the pureness and stillness of human beings.” Her reception was on October 22, and the exhibit ran through Monday, October 27.
Hoff had her opening reception in the gallery in the Sculpture Building on October 22, and her pieces will be exhibited through No- vember 1. Her show, “Flowers a Lover,” is a mix of many different me- diums, including paintings, drawings, sculptures and installation. The show builds around love, with an installation of roses being the main focal point of the exhibition. “Since it’s my last semester, I wanted to put all the mediums I’ve come across to use, to make it sort of a retrospect. Also, the roses and a few drawings I’m basing it on, I felt had potential.” Hoff said. “Lately, I’ve done a lot of abstracts, but I’ve been struggling with putting color to use, but nature is a nice way for me to incorporate colors to my work.”
The artist says the exhibition is the opposite of what one would think of when thinking of giving away flowers. “It’s more as a goodbye than an act of celebration, and it fits more with my kind of art concept,” she said. “The roses hanging from the roof have a potential of falling down and breaking, and that connects with the theme I have in the paintings” she said. Hoff had her thesis show in the SAL Gallery earlier this year and will graduate in December, and she’s aiming for her MA in Art Therapy at Post.
Li and Hoff’s shows are two among many student shows in the galleries around the campus, and already next week, there will be new exhibitions in the same art spaces.