Stop Evil Spirits, 2023
Pepperdine Graphic Newspaper from 2021, 2022, and 2023

I found that both American and Chinese cultures possess superstitious beliefs. For example, American people believe that putting newspaper on the wall can prevent evil spirits. In Daoism, the Daoist sticks a yellow paper with certain words in red ink on the wall in order to stop the ghost. Even U.S. and China are so far away from each other, and the cultures and beliefs are so apparent. There are similar practices in both society, which are fascinating to me.

Money Bowls, 2023
Plaster, used dryer sheets, paper towels, and receipts

I was born and raised in Beijing, China. When I first came to the United States for high school, I experienced a lot of culture shock such as ice water and hook-up culture. As I continue into college education, the pandemic happened, I could not fly back home as in the past. I got homesick and started to think about the cultural difference and similarity between Eastern and Western cultures specifically value, belief, and systems. I have found that the definition of success in both American and Chinese cultures are similar. Generally, the American value of success is based on how much money a person can earn. In China, appearance and possessions determine how you will be treated. In both cases, money defines a person. How a person spends his or her money reveals his or her social status. Therefore, examining earnings and spendings of a person could help me figure out him or her.

Loads of Info, 2023
Collected receipts and ivory satin ribbon

As we look at a person’s purchases, we find that receipts are so powerful because they show your personal information, such as the location, last four digits of your credit card number, and your preferences. Across all people with various levels of wealth, there is one thing in common—the respect for privacy. It is interesting that we normally throw away our receipts, but if someone asked for your receipt, you would not give it to them. This action reflects our fear of exposure of our private information; I always tear up my own receipts. Due to COVID-19, I carry isopropyl alcohol with me every day for disinfecting. Once, it accidently spilled in my bag over top of my receipts. The words and numbers on the receipts became blurry. The isopropyl alcohol perfectly erased all my private information. After this accident, I began exploring how we deal with privacy and our receipts.