Art professor Beili Liu recently had two of her recent projects, “Lure” and “Each and Every,” installed in the Crow Museum of Asian Art in Dallas.
Liu’s installations focus on the idea of human connection and are part of an exhibition series highlighting Texas-based contemporary Asian women artists.
The Daily Texan spoke with Liu about her recent installations and her goals as a professor.
Daily Texan: How long did it take you to create these installations?
Beili Liu : The production of two projects was six months for ”Lure” series, and a year for ”Each and Every”.
DT: What would you say are the biggest messages you wanted to convey with ”Each and Every?”
BL: We heard the news, read articles of the unfathomable situation of children being separated from their family at our southern border. We were saddened and shocked to see the images of migrant children in cages at detention centers. But the news cycle moves on with relentless speed. We forget — consciously or subconsciously — and the numbers become numbing, abstract concepts. According to Slate, in 2019, 69,550 migrant children were detained. I am the mother of a child. I know as a mother, that each child’s life holds so much care, love and promise.
”Each and Every” as a title intends to bring our attention to that individual child, that very real, specific life and the magnitude of his or her world shattered with utter confusion and pain. ”Each and Every” also directs our awareness to us as individuals, as witnesses to the situation. In the end, it will always be up to each and every one of us as to how we resolve and as to how we move on. It is my hope that, in addition to turning our gaze back onto the migrant children crisis and encouraging much needed conversation and awareness of the public, that the project will also serve as a space for empathy and a platform for understanding.
DT: Did you always want to become a professor?
BL: Honestly, no. I came to the U.S. as a young international student. Teaching seemed to be a very daunting career choice. I am grateful that over the years I have had many amazing mentors who supported my development as a teacher. I serve my students as a teacher, a mentor, as well as a role model. As a practicing artist, I found myself sharing projects, processes and experience in the art world with my students often. Being active with my own creativity feeds energy into my connection with students. This active interaction unveils the intimidating mystery of real-world art practice, engages students and encourages them to discover their own creative expression in artmaking. I believe successful teaching can positively influence a student’s future creative career and life experience. To help my students to develop into independent, aware, culturally sensitive and creative individuals is my ultimate mission as an educator.