Hui-ju Chen – Shantou, China
Hui-ju Chen (Mickey) graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996. Even though she has not been using art and design as her main profession, she has kept her passion of making art until today. Along with her teaching job at Shantou University, she always finds time to create various styles of work. It is interesting to see how her work has varied from photography to acrylic painting to mixed-media to collage. She hopes to keep being experimental because she believes that, in the art world, there are no real errors but different thoughts and processes with different outcomes. Without experimentation, she feels, art is not art. She gets inspiration from different aspects of life. She always hopes to learn and create different kinds of work by making use of her own different life experiences. It is normal to have lots of frustrations and doubts as one goes through the phases of creation. For Mickey, the biggest frustration has been the temptation and pressure to build and keep up one particular style in order to be a professional artist. Though it is true that a dedication to one style may enable one to come a little closer to perfection in that style, Mickey feels that art is about taking risks. If she is satisfied with one style, she believes that she loses a very important quality of art–the excitement of experiencing different things in the world. Therefore, she hopes to continue working in different ways and experimenting with different styles. Art making, for her, is not just a way to express herself but a way to define her existence.