We had the good fortune of connecting with Sicong Sui and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sicong, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I look at risks like gemstones growing on the cliff. To harvest one will be a difficult task, but it also brings exciting rhythms to life and there’s no telling what is beyond the cliff. For me taking risks requires the combined force of responsibility and romantic emotions. I wouldn’t be able to start a life in a foreign country by myself and share thoughts with people from entirely different cultures if I didn’t take the risk of traveling from China to the US. I wouldn’t have created many colorful images and dive deeper into the practice of visual art if I didn’t take the risk of switching from science study to illustration. Taking risks allows me to continue to experience the flavorful journey based on my own choices, laughing as well as crying along the way.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I paint lonely figures, hugging bodies, and struggling beings. It has become more clear to me recently that my visual work always narrates attempts at communication and stresses about empathy. During the global pandemic, through the Curatorial MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art, I am having virtual conversations with creators and communities, learning about their lives, absorbing their knowledge, and adapting to the ever-changing world. I am more sure that it is never a good deed to generalize a group of people, ignoring each of them as an individual human being, judging them with single-sourced information. I am currently working on a curatorial project of anthropomorphic animal avatar, an exhibition possessing the form of a publication about imaginary identities that symbiosis with people presented as a web of historical and cultural moments. Through art, design, scholarly text and poems, opalpence, peiyuuue, and other featured creators embrace animal imagery for human psychological transformation and empowerment. People who are interested in the subject can follow my Instagram and check out updates for the upcoming publication happening in May.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my friends of mine were visiting, except for the big museums and galleries, I would bring them to the fabric district in LA. There are tons of choices of economical artistic crafting materials, snacks, and inspirations of busy market places. Grand Central Market is another treat to the eyes as well as to the stomach. Thrift stores are like stars twinkle among the streets all over the city. As the sun falls towards the west, check out the blue and pink sky, and then check out the potato and meat at the Ave 26 taco stand.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to the illustration faculties and printmaking studio at ArtCenter College of Design. The longer I live in the US and the more I learn about the world around me, the more I realize that it is no easy task for educators to open their arms and embrace international students with a safe environment to study and proper care to become wiser. It is very precious to me looking back to my own growth and friendships I made after graduation. Thank you, my teachers.
peiyuuuue, opalpence and Sicong Sui