Carrie Patterson, Chair
Associate Professor of Art
Phone: (240) 895-4252
Office Staff: (240) 895-4225
Alumni Where are they now?
Matthew Fishel (studio art, 2001) completed an MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art in 2010. Originally interested in painting, Matthew has expanded his practice to include animation, video, installation, and digital imaging. He is a frequent contributor to RedStarKGB, an ongoing collaboration of filmmakers in Baltimore. His own film, "A Short Film Regarding Possibilities", was selected by the Maryland Film Festival in 2006. See his work at http://www.matthewfishel.com
Feng shui in the USA : the Appropriation of Feng shui from China to America
Abstract: Feng shui, the originally Chinese practice based on the premise the space a person lives and works in (both indoors and outdoors) effects wellbeing, now exists in America in varying degrees. Prior to feng shui becoming widespread in America, Upper middle-class Western Europeans and Americans appropriated Japanese and Chinese art and architecture for its visual appeal under the Aesthetic Movement, but they were also inspired by how Asian cultures apparently lived with more reverence for nature. Following the post WWII industrial boom of the 1950’s-1960’s the yearning for naturalism re-emerged, as did a deeper questioning of the conventions of western hegemony. This allowed for acceptance of not just Asian aesthetics, but Asian philosophies—feng shui being one of them. Many of my sources cite Lin Yun as the father of American feng shui, which is a mix of Chinese and Tibetan religious influences. Lin Yun fortified the practice further with a scientific and technological perspective. Americans primarily understand feng shui as an Asian art of placement which has implications for interior design. Currently, feng shui appeals to the upper-middle class intellectual elite. Feng shui corresponds not only to the values of this class, but design ideals already in place in America. Ray and Charles Eames and Frank Lloyd Wright are two examples of highly acclaimed designers/architectural firms whose ideals appeal to the same ethos that feng shui does. It is likely that reverence for nature and the natural order of space is what makes these architectural entities, and feng shui, appealing to Americans.