My name is Weichi Su, I was born in Taiwan in 1993 and graduated from the Bildende Kunst Bildhauerei Department of the Alanus Hochschule für Kunst und Gesellschaft in Germany.
From sculpture to installation I discovered that I can create many possibilities of art. In the process, I not only changed the materials, but also the way I worked. I like to study the properties of the material and how it is used or how it affects people.
During my master’s degree, I was always very interested in the Subject ,, New Life ‘‘. For me, life and new life have different meanings. Everything has a life that is important to us and our development, but nothing lasts forever. And “New Life‘ ‘means that I give something a new meaning.
The concept comes from 2018 when I was in Norway, I used hazelnuts to make an installation in the forest.
Then I tried different materials. I found different possibilities of material in it, it’s exciting for me. The materials are no longer materials. They become an art and the viewer can interpret them through them and the resonance arises.
For my work, I would additively develop a new shape from the same materials or the same shapes.
Hello Weichi! When did you first know you would be an artist? When did you first start doing art?
Weichi: I think it should be the first time I participated in the exhibition. At that time, and people would call me an artist, so I started to feel like an artist. I think I started doing art as long as I can remember, I was exposed to painting since childhood and started to create sculptures in university. From about 20 years old, I started to create freely and try to create various materials.
Do you see your pieces from start to finish? Can you walk us through your artistic process, physically and psychologically?
Weichi: No, I don’t. The material I’m creating now is not traditional sculpture material. And each kind of material has different characteristics, so I can’t predict exactly what the result will be like. Even though I have a draft and plan at the beginning, there are always changes during the process, sometimes natural factors, and sometimes human factors. Therefore, my works are always unpredictable from the beginning to the end, but I really enjoy such uncertainty.
In the beginning, I will think about what I want to use as the material for my creation, and of course, it has to fit my creative concept. Once I find the material, I start thinking about the form and the project. In the process, as I said above, there are many reasons for me to change my creations, such as the weather, the time, or the experiments, because at the beginning I just imagine them in my head, but once I start, many of them are not feasible, not as suitable or not as perfect as I imagined, so I have to give up or use other methods. But I still enjoyed the whole process of discovering the surprises, the various material properties.
Where do you work? What is your studio like?
Weichi: Now I’m working in Germany. My studio is located in the school, and there are four of us sharing it. My desk and floor are almost completely covered with my current work in progress, and there is a cabinet next to it where I keep my tools and the various materials I’ve collected.
How would you describe your style of work? Would you characterize it as a specific genre?
Weichi: I think my current work should be considered a kind of installation art, but not exactly. Some of my works have to be done in the exhibition space, which takes a lot of time to set up, and some of them keep changing during the exhibition, and they are not finished until the end of the exhibition. But not every piece is like that, so I don’t want to limit my work to a certain style, because I still want to try a lot.
Who/what inspires you artistically? What artists do you admire?
Weichi: I think many people have inspired me along the way, like the professors at school, after all, I discuss my work with them all the time and they give me advice and ideas. The artist I admire most at the moment is Alicja Kwade, She is a Polish-German contemporary visual artist.
What subjects or themes would you say your work deals with? And is there a message you are trying to send with each piece? Also, tell more about your concept “New Life”.
Weichi: During my master’s studies I was always interested in the big topic “New Life”. That means that I give something a new meaning. For me, life and New Life have different meanings. All things have life, which is important for us and our development, but nothing lasts forever. . . Life is what happens while we are busy doing something every day. New life is to become things from death. I give it a New Life. The materials are no longer materials. They become art or something…
I would additively develop a new one for my work from the same material or the same forms. And the ideas and images created by the materials live on in our heads.
The term came from a project I did in Norway where I used a lot of fruit. And this is the series I’ve been working on. The second time I used my hair, the third time I collected a lot of expired or used contact lenses, the fourth time I used cigarettes, and the latest time I used tea leaves.
Of course, each piece is related, they all come from the same creative concept, the materials are different, but they are all objects that I consider dead, meaning they have fulfilled their purpose of being used as materials in their own right. Leaves, for example, live in nature, but some of the leaves that people take to make tea are made by burning or drying them at high temperatures. After all, they serve a different purpose than before. After death, they are given a new meaning or form. I think that’s the shift in meaning and the ambiguity of life and death.
Not only the tea leaves but also the materials I created before. They have a completely different shape, color, or attribute. Some of them attain their own value or even the highest value after death. For example, the phoenix in the East gives Nirvana, and the resurrection in the West gives Jesus. In my opinion, this is not a great circle of life, but rather a connection within the circle, that life can be death, and death can be life.
Your art is very unique. What’s the most challenging part of your artistic process? And how do you overcome it?
Weichi: I think the most challenging thing is “unknown”. Because I always choose a brand new material that I have never worked with before, there are so many unpredictable results in the process of understanding and experimenting that I often spend a lot of time at the same stage without making any progress.
It’s not so much about how I overcame, but how I adapted to him and created more results. In my opinion, in the process of creation, I don’t want to presuppose too many predetermined results. Instead, I want to learn from it and discover it, and then create more possibilities. In this process, I can also create more things That I didn’t know before, but more innovative appearance brought by this material.
What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
Weichi: For people who are interested in my art can see my work and the latest news through my Instagram account.
What is your favorite artwork you’ve done so far if you can choose? 😊
Weichi: I actually like every piece in this series, but if I really had to pick, it would be the ones made with cigarettes.
What’s next on the horizon for Weichi Su?
Weichi: I still have great interest and enthusiasm for the concept of new life, so I’ll continue to work on this series and I’m starting to think about a new material for my next piece…