To support local artists and designers during COVID-19, the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Cultures Room created the Micro-Commissions Project. We invited eight CMU students and local Pittsburgh artists to create artworks to be displayed within the room and on a new digital projection installation on the glass wall near the front of the room. Artists were inspired by our themes of language, culture, identity, and personal stories. Each artist had the freedom to choose any medium.
“The Fruits of our Culture” by Nancy Zuo
Today, we would like to introduce “The Fruits of our Culture” by Nancy Zuo. Nancy was inspired by her mom’s backyard, “We have dozens of different types of fruit trees and my mom’s biggest hobby is gardening. Recently, my mom got into cross-breeding dragonfruit plants and I thought this would be a good metaphor to how cultures blend together.”
“Inspired by my backyard, I decided to represent culture as a field of different fruit trees. Like fruit trees, culture can easily be cross bred (American-born Chinese, Korea, Japanese, etc) and grows over time. These cultures are rooted with the same values that extend deep into time. Like describing the taste of a fruit, it may be hard to understand the culture of another country until one immerses themself in it. The shadows behind the lamp symbolize Plato’s allegory of the cave, and VR represents the ability to branch out and explore other cultures without falling at the trap of society’s perception of racism.”