Artist: Yujia Gu
Exhibition: Tracing Gun Violence in the USA
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery
About the Artist
Yujia Gu is embarking on her last semester within her Masters for Printmaking; moreover, she is undecided about what she wants to do to further her career in the future and may just return back to China. As for her childhood, she was into drawing since she was young. She also takes great interest in graphic design and has actually been a graphic designer for five years now; furthermore, she’d actually love to become a publisher for a newspaper. Yujia used to live in New York where she stayed for three months, then decided to move to Long Beach where she liked it better. Besides graphic design, she also takes interest in photography, movies and museums. As for her work, her whole exhibition explores the topic of gun violence and how it has affected the United States as whole.
As soon as one walks into the Dutzi Gallery, the right portion of the wall was filled with words and images of guns and humans. Basically, humans are buying guns to protect themselves from other humans that are buying guns. Yujia stated that gun violence itself is a revolving problem, so that’s why the words and images are repetitively shown on the wall. On the back wall, she had a list of the names of children and people that died from the Sandy Hook incident. Also, she has images of the people themselves in front of their names. On the left portion of the wall, she had a map of the United States projected show how many people have gotten shot within the last 72 hours, as well as the number of people getting shot everyday. All her work in her exhibit follows the same print with straight texts displayed. Furthermore, there are not much shapes or rhythms associated with the exhibit. The colors alone revolve around black and red to center around guns and the violence it brings along.
Before Yujia came here to the United States, her mother warned her about gun violence. Moreover, China itself is a place that doesn’t allow guns. China has a completely different culture as compared to the United States where there’s differences in culture itself, teaching style, and freedom. Being curious, she wanted to know if what her mom stated about gun violence was true leading her to research about the issue. The main goal of her exhibit is to make it clear to people that gun violence is a serious topic; furthermore, it’s important to know how to properly handle guns. Her map showed mass shootings around the United States and the people affected daily plus over time. Yujia is thinking about showing society that action can be made from one individual at a time to improve gun control, as well as take serious actions on gun violence. The overarching goal is: less guns leading to less violence.
Synthesis / My Experience
Overall, I feel like this exhibit is essential for society and should actually be mass produced. By that, I mean that more people should look at this exhibit itself or know about the issues of gun violence. It’s very sad to see such innocent people go because of others not rightfully using their rights to guns. Just recently, there was the San Bernardino shooting where I saw an innocent child get killed because a husband was trying to kill his wife that worked at the school. It honestly makes me think about life and how people make such rash decisions for wrong reasons. I wouldn’t want people that were innocent to be damaged in any way, especially if they’re just trying to live their life and be successful in what they want to do. Thinking about it, the children from the mass shootings just wanted an education to provide for their future. However, they don’t have one anymore since they were taken away the right to live. The government or we, as people, need to take action to improve gun control, as well as take care of the gun violence. Without our action, nothing will change. It all starts with us.