Artist: Yujia Gu
Exhibition: Tracing Gun Violence in the USA
Media: Installations, Info-graphics, LED Display
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery
Yujia Gu is an international student at Long Beach State University and is originally from Asia; against her worried mother’s wishes, three years ago she traveled to America amidst all of the violence caused by the murder of many international students and has since been an advocate for less gun violence and hopes that there will be more restrictions placed on guns.
The exhibition consisted of LED displays that depicted not only the areas affected by gun violence over time, but also the victims that have suffered from gun violence. Painted figurines of the people affected in Canada and the United States lined the bottom of the walls and a whole wall with the words “more and more people are buying guns to protect themselves” was dedicated to make the exhibition’s purpose more real.
“Tracing Gun Violence in the USA” is meant to be a reminder that gun violence is very real; Yujia states that her exhibition is meant to solidify the belief that gun control needs to be improved and our society will be better with one little action from each person. Her gallery’s goal is to dismantle the myth that created the continuous loop in which people purchase more guns to protect themselves from those who already own them, therefore shedding light and making clear how idiotic the cycle of “people using guns against those who use guns, all just to teach those who have guns not to use guns” really is.
I really enjoyed Yujia’s exhibition because of how real it was; it is extremely refreshing to see the amount of raw and realness that she displayed in her gallery since most things that claim to be real and raw, whether it be the news, blog posts, the radio, newspapers etc., are not. Due to its controversial nature, things that are meant to be bring awareness to such topics are usually heavily edited and censored for the public’s eye, but I appreciated Yujia’s disregard for all of the above and her bluntness when it came to the subject. I especially enjoyed the victim’s photographs and graphics she painted at the bottom of the walls, that were meant to show all of the people affected, because those visual representations reminded me that this topic is all too real; sometimes when things aren’t thrown in our face and are calmly explained by newscasters, a tragedy can sometimes feel distant and dream-like, as if it is just a horrible nightmare and not really something that is happening in our world. This exhibition is refreshing in the tough love that it presents in order to make people aware of the fact that the less guns there is, the less violence there will be.