Wk 9 – Artist Interview – Xiaowen Liang

This week, I am going to discuss one of my favorite artistic works from my time in art 110: A piece titled “Flower Tale”.

wk 9

Xiaowen Liang – Flower Tale

I apologize deeply to many of the talented artists at CSULB, but frankly, I do not enjoy most of the visual arts at my school. Maybe I’m just a grumpy young whippersnapper who just “doesn’t get it”, but most art at CSULB seems either pretentious, such as Laura Scattergood’s arrangement in last week’s post, or just… weird, such as “Somewhere Between Here and Their” by Manny Krakowski.

However, every now and then, there is an exception, with Flower Tale being one of them. This piece is, at a glance, incredibly simple, but when you think about it, it’s rather incredible. This piece proves to a non-professional artist such as my self that basically ANY art form can be used to express an emotion we all share. Many of the people who saw this piece had read these novels, and thus, by changing the covers to various flower arrangements, this piece captures that emotion that many non-artists share with the artists themselves.

This piece serves as a great “Rosetta Stone” to many who are not deeply versed in the art of flower arranging. It helps us understand the artist and their viewpoints on what flowers are beautiful, what flowers are entrapping, what flowers make us feel helpless, and what flowers make us feel empowered. And best of yet, this piece does it with something very simple, very plain, and something often overlooked – book covers. Many people often ignore book covers, as the contents inside are seen as more valuable than the cover itself. As the phrase goes, “Never judge a book by its cover”.

But Flower Tale helped me gain an appreciation for flower arrangements, an appreciation I never thought I would ever have in my life. I have always thought of flowers, like book covers, to be somewhat “hidden away”, never meant to be seen except through the unconscious eye. But by putting this piece on display, this supposedly “boring at first glance” piece, Xiaowen Liang has helped me gain new appreciation for the art of flower arrangements.

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