China has been my life since the 1980s. As an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz, I went to Taiwan with Stanford University's Volunteers in Asia (VIA), setting into motion the trajectory that would take me through the next several decades.
I immersed myself in Mandarin Chinese and for 20 years worked with language. During the 1989 Tian'anmen Square protests I was a post-graduate student at the Beijing Languages Institute. From there I went to work at a Beijing state-run publishing house and over the next few years compiled and translated a book of Chinese women's literature, wrote a book about Beijing, and edited books on Chinese literature and art. Most recently I worked for Oxford University Press to help produce the Oxford Chinese Dictionary (published in 2010).
In 2004 I turned to visual art, primarily ceramic sculpture and photography.
My sculpture is expressive, layered in meaning, and naive in form and intent. Mostly self-taught, I have benefited from the guidance and inspiration of many teachers and friends, notably Cristina Córdova at Penland School of Craft and Mary Wiseman, ISB International Baccalaureate Visual Arts Instructor (1994-2005).
In 2007 I began the Hand Project. This comprehensive work weaves together many parts - conceptual exploration, material creation, and anthropological documentation. Every step forward has brought new challenges, for which I've prepared and trained myself as I've gone along.
Through my work with the Hand Project in Niujiatan Village, my love of photography has gained a foothold. With this subject worthy of long-term focus, I have sharpened my skills and personalized my perspective. Chief Editor Li Shufeng and Director Liu Wei of Chinese Photographers magazine in Beijing have supported my work and pushed me into new frontiers, expanding my professional horizons.