Natalie Wang’s “West Meets East” art exhibit

Natalie Wang’s senior art exhibit “West Meets East” is currently on display in the Art building, until this Friday, Oct. 28.

Inspired to try a different form of tie-dyeing while visiting her in-laws in China, Wang added some of her newly found art to her senior show. She had been experimenting with silk dyeing for four years before taking this trip to China, and when she found out they way they tie-dye is completely different from the way it’s done in America, she was instantly intrigued.

“I instantly became fascinated with the Chinese culture after marrying a Chinese man,” said Wang. “Last summer I got really interested in [Chinese] art and wanted to see different things from American art.”

Americans, while tie-dyeing, merely tie pieces of fabric together in various spots, dye it, then opens it up after it’s done drying. The result is colorful patterns that could not be created any other way. According to Wang, in China they use stitching to create the white lines that resist the dye and create the pattern, which could be anything.

“I didn’t realize you could make actual animals or anything you want,” said Wang. “America kind of lost that step.”

Wang decided to incorporate Chinese culture into her art since she was using a Chinese medium and chose to do some Chinese zodiac signs. She didn’t want to just replicate the generic zodiac signs so she did research so her paintings wouldin’t in turn be generic.

“I thought it was very important to tie the culture into the patterns so it’s not just the Zodiac animals,” said Wang. “I researched the Chinese folk art patterns and incorporated that into the design, and they look flat because they are like Chinese paper-cuts.”

As an art education major, Wang’s exhibit includes many different forms of art, from throughout her college career at Washburn. Art education majors are expected to know various mediums and forms of art so they can effectively teach students about them.  They are also expected to add artwork from outside of their college classes, which is where the tie-dyed artwork came in.

“It’s a weird mix and it’s hard to do it as an education major because we have to be advanced in everything,” explained Wang.

Wang started off as an Accounting/Finance major, and when she got up to the higher level courses she decided to change her major to art because that is what she always loved to do. Because of the economy she had decided to go into business, but couldn’t ignore her love for art.

“You can be inspired by the smallest things and you never know what is going to happen in the future,” said Wang. “Without Washburn I never would have gone in the direction I did.”