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Sculpture - 'Mandarin Glass Sculpture', Mies Grybaitis, Melbourne, 1996 Object Reg. No: SH 970114

Alternative Name(s): Artwork - Visible Separations - Mandarin Piece

Mandarin Glass Sculpture by Mies Grybaitis, 1996. This sculpture is part of a series by Mies Grybaitis, an Australian artist of Swedish origin, for an exhibition held in Sept 1996 at Craft Victoria called Visible Separations. The exhibition featured 10 glass pieces in 8 different languages. Each sculpture was kiln cast with a statement in a migrant's original language as a metaphor for the barriers experienced for people with a non-english speaking background. Grybaitis states: 'Glass is a medium for suspending the invisible word, an invisible medium to reflect the flow of language. The diversity of Australian languages cast into glass is a visual representation of the rareness of the multiculture that surrounds us. Using text as a visual barrier, contributors to the work, in their own hand writing and in their mother tongue, speak about their personal experiences as Australians.' (1996)

In this piece, Mies asked Chinese immigrant Yaping Jiang to write a short piece on her experience as an Australian. She then cast this writing into the glass.
Freestanding glass sculpture, elliptical and elongated in shape featuring kiln cast Chinese characters over face of piece. Piece narrows at top and a hole has been made in centre top to hold metal screw from which hangs a long, narrow piece of paper at the back of the piece. Words have been printed on paper which is visible although obscure through the glass.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Ms Mies Grybaitis, 1997
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 86.50 cm (Height), 13.00 cm (Width), 24.00 cm (Length)
Dimension Comment: paper strip measures 63 cm in length

More information

Tagged with: artworks, immigration, handcrafts, chinese communities, chinese immigration, visual arts
Themes this item is part of: Immigration & Artistic Practice Collection, Migration Collection
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity - Creative Practice
Tertiary Classification: glasswork
Inscriptions: Printed on paper strip: 'Understanding Understanding'.
Chinese characters cast into body of sculpture in Mandarin. Words by Yaping Jiang: 'Suddenly thrown into a strange environment, your past self no longer exists. Everything has to start from zero, and you, feeling at a loss, don't know what to do. As time passes by, in the process of gradual adaptation and learning, you manage to find yourself again.'
Artist: Ms Mies Grybaitis, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1996
Place & Date Exhibited: Craft Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1996

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