Wk11 – Artist Conversation – Yujia Gu

Artist: Yujia Gu
Exhibition: Tracing Gun Violence in the USA
Media: Mixed Media
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery
Website: yujiagu.squarespace.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yujia_gu/


About The Artist

Yujia Gu is working towards her MFA degree in the School of Art’s Graphic Design Program. She earned her BFA degree in Graphic Design when she still lived in China. Prior to attending college in America, Gu’s mother warned her about the dangerous shootings that occur. That remark is what inspired Gu to do research on gun violence and base her exhibition on that topic.

Formal Analysis

The art in this exhibition is very stylistic and clean. It feels as if someone took an infographic on gun violence and made an exhibition based off of it. This exhibition is about a very serious issue and you could tell from the lack of bright colors in the room and how neatly organized every thing is arranged. There are three maps on the wall. All three of them depict gun ownership in the world. Two of them compares gun ownership between America in China. One map depicts how often people are killed by guns. One wall consists of decals of people, guns, and writing. Another part of the exhibition shows a collection of pictures of gun violence victims along with their names. This is printed on a clear plastic sheet. Behind that sheet, there is a decal of a gun.

Content Analysis

The main goal of this exhibition is to spread awareness about gun violence. Gu wants people to know where and how often it occurs and also who it hurts. This exhibition conveyed information in a thought-provoking way. After you walk through it, it makes you wonder what we could do in order to lessen the number of gun violence. America is such a huge country that it is very hard for everyone to be on the same boat when it comes to social issues. Some people want guns to be banned in order to prevent more shootings to happen. Others want to keep their guns because it is their right and they want to protect themselves.

Synthesis / My Experience

This was a very powerful exhibition and it is very relevant during this time. Just recently there was a school shooting at San Bernardino elementary school. The most powerful piece was the one with the pictures of gun violence victims that were children. It just makes me angry to think about how many people out there are willing to harm defenseless children.

The exhibition reminded me of a video that I watched in my government class back in high school. We watched a news segment that showed just how easy it was to purchase guns. I remember that my whole class and I were shocked that it was a such a quick and simple process to purchase guns.


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