Reference Photo: Chinese Brass/Bronze Stand Guan Gong Yu Warrior God Sword Statue, Worth Point
Within this piece, I wanted to achieve the message of cultural diversity and how America is a “melting pot” for all ethnicities to connect and proudly embrace their cultures. In my case, I am an American-born-Chinese. Even when living in America for the entirety of my life, I have been heavily exposed to traditional Chinese culture not only because of my parents, but because a great deal of Chinese culture widely exists across America. Both of these aspects has influenced me to all different aspects of Chinese culture, while also learning to practice Chinese values and beliefs. One of the most important figures within my piece is Guan Yu. I chose to include Guan Yu because his legacy is massively well known within China, and represents a large part of what America also values. That is justice and bravery. I wanted to show that although it may come in different forms, from different countries, many of our beliefs transcend different languages and backgrounds. It goes to show that no matter who you are, you can share the same beliefs and connect with others especially while being in a diverse place like America. With the flags, I decided to modify them. Originally, Guan Yu has always carried flags behind his back to show what he actively stands for, in this case, I did the same but with the flags that I hold close to my own identity. The Chinese flag, or more specifically close to me, the Hong Kong flag, which represents the birthplace of my parents, and the American flag. These multiple influences have inspired me on what it means to truly be an American. That is embracing oneself for their true identity and learning to break barriers between differing cultures. This is especially shown within my piece when I place the American flag next to this Chinese hero figure. Another aspect to take into consideration was the colors. Since our family carries the same surname as Guan Yu, I decided to color him in black and white. This not only represents the embracement of Chinese history, but represent my own family values. It upholds our family pride and history. Lastly, the flags are in color because they represent modern society and how although we may change in the future, these different cultures still remain permanent and a part of my identity.