Artist Interview Jeffrey Su: The Encrypto Art Journey of a Slash Artist
Written by ArtGee
In this issue, we bring you ArtGee’s featured artist Jeffrey Su, who is currently studying at Art Center College of Design and is an outstanding crypto artist, graphic designer, and 3D motion designer. His NFT work The One and Two is currently up for auction on Poly Auction’s online platform.
Jeffrey Su’s works are mostly based on traditional Chinese cultural elements, using visual effects to convey small inspirations and concepts that emerge from life, and using rational digital forms to express his thoughts over the roots of traditional Chinese culture. The collision of traditional culture and new technology is a common theme in his creations. He left his architectural studies in England in his early twenties and returned to China. He was inspired by traditional architecture and folk art. He also began to understand the underlying logic of cryptocurrency. This kind of information, which could not be taught in school, opened up a new world for him.
The following are our fascinating conversation:
ArtGee: When did you first learn about blockchain technology and what is your understanding of NFT?
Jeffrey: I got into blockchain in 2017 and started to focus on cryptocurrency, mainly because I was fascinated by the idea of decentralization. In fact, I am more interested in the sustainability of NFT, and I will do an everyday practice on social platforms to keep exploring the technology and concepts. I am not really a person who is eager to sell my work. I think that works need time for reflection, and need to have a certain value behind them as well as thinking contained in them.
ArtGee: You have a background of studying in the UK and the US, but there are many elements of traditional Chinese culture and perspectives in your work. Does this have to do with your background in Jingdezhen where you studied ceramics?
Jeffrey: I started studying abroad at the age of 13 and began studying architecture in London at university. The experience of growing up abroad made me feel that I had no roots and that what I learned was not very relevant to me. So when I returned to China, I chose to visit many small places in China. Originally, I wanted to see the traditional architecture in China, but I was attracted by the ceramic folk art in Jingdezhen. Since my exposure to this craft deviated greatly from my perception of art, I began to explore. I saw a lot of young people in Jingdezhen who wanted to break through and seek new ideas in such a traditional medium, honing their skills every day. This was a big shock to me and made me realize that whether you are a designer, a crypto artist or a digital artist, craftsmanship is still very important.
ArtGee: Why did you choose graphic design as your major?
Jeffrey: I actually did a lot of experimenting in China, architecture, ceramics, graphic design, etc. After considering various factors and my personal preferences, I finally decided to choose graphic design. Architecture is a very long work cycle, and a project can take several years, which may not fit my pace. But I still wanted to do design. I started doing photography when I was 12 years old, and I had a lot of interests and preferences.Then I also thought that the medium itself should not be too old, because print itself can be combined with internet technology and screen-based media. This kind of media will have a better future rather than the traditional media, such as books and magazines.
ArtGee: Why did you choose to leave architecture and London where you were already familiar with the environment?
Jeffrey: I actually got an offer from AA (architectural association school of architecture), and I was in a very bad state during my last one or two years in the UK, thinking about some things, such as identity anxiety and identity perception. So I chose to go back to China to find some familiar things or places. I’m glad I didn’t continue to study architecture, so I had the opportunity to get to know about other fields and crypto. Also, the environment I studied in the UK didn’t fit well with what I was looking for personally. I wanted to find more possibilities in my life.
ArtGee: Why haven’t you thought about doing traditional folk art, such as ceramics?
Jeffrey: Ceramics is a very old medium with a very long history, which means that its audience is actually quite limited. For example, if you make 10 cups, only 10 people will enjoy it. I still want to use something new and then use it with the Internet because there are so many resources and possibilities on the Internet that it would be a shame not to use it.
ArtGee: As you move from the UK to China to the US, your desire to explore each new place outweighs your fear of unfamiliar surroundings, right?
Jeffrey: Because I love photography, I like to go to places I haven’t been to before. Maybe it’s also because of my personality, I feel uneasy after staying in one place for a long time. And probably because I went abroad to study early, I can adapt to new changes relatively quickly.
ArtGee: So why did you choose to go to the U.S. to continue your studies?
Jeffrey: There are several reasons. First of all, my family’s future life will be centered in the United States, and secondly, I have different feelings about art education in the United Kingdom and the United States. In the UK, art and design education is more conceptual, more purely artistic, and allows you to broaden your mind. But in the U.S., the education is more practice-based. The school I went to focused more on how to apply what I learned in a practical way. The culture in the U.S. is also completely different than in the U.K.
ArtGee: About your school work, there are some projects that look very interesting, can you tell us about them?
Jeffrey: I had a project at school to do a book on “isms”. I chose anarchism. I hadn’t mentioned NFT at the time, but it was already relevant to NFT. I mentioned a lot of things about crypto, such as some spontaneous art acts on the Internet, some expressions of attitude, some of my photography and some poems that I chose to emphasize my theme. That was actually a course on book typography, from the cover, to the binding, to the typeface typography, I made a very traditional form of work. The reason why I chose to combine poetry and photography at that time is that I think both of them are rather hazy things. Poetry matches the inner rhythm of the book, so I chose poetry as the content. I chose a lot of poems by Bei Dao because he fits the theme better in all aspects. The first half has a lot of detail, so I wanted the second half to have a stronger sense of atmosphere.
ArtGee: There are a lot of interesting works in your portfolio, the Mahjong series is very popular. What do you think of it?
Jeffrey: The mahjong piece was put up for auction at Poly, and I thought it was intuitive and fun. It’s very similar to blockchain in form and playful. I made it very quickly after playing mahjong with my friends and doing everyday exercises.
Now I do a lot of very simple things, about 90 percent of which is to sharpen my skills. I probably spend two or three hours a day making something.I don’t really think about it very deeply, but I just use C4d to show what I feel at the moment. This trained me to express my feelings and to hone my technique.
ArtGee: How do you see the aesthetic that comes from the design in NFT’s work, or the balance between this work and artistry?
Jeffrey: That’s an interesting question. There are a lot of crypto artists who are designers and some of them are crypto artists themselves. I think what’s great about this market is that it’s liberating in a way for both designers and artists, because it gives us a lot of new things. For example, you can use the platform as a medium, and the delivery method can also be used as a medium, which is a new release of energy in multiple media. In terms of the traditional art world, a large part of it revolves with galleries and museums, which as a physical space serve works on the shelves and walls. For example, paintings, sculptures, installations, etc., they need people to be there to experience them. But nowadays, people basically get information through the screen, and when the screen is the native medium, such works are not suitable to be moved into the gallery, because it is not the native medium.
The analytical Cacodine _ The quest for Ai creativity _ Motion poster design
ArtGee: The nature of crypto-native can actually restrict some artists from entering the field, how do you see this situation?
Jeffrey: When a new thing forms a circle after a certain amount of exclusivity will arise. It develops a tone of freedom, and it builds barriers. But like Bitcoin, which challenges the coinage system that has existed for so long. NFT challenges traditional art, and in the future it will challenge what it’s built, it’s going to be an iterative and upward process. Because only after the destruction and re-establishment will new life emerge. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. An early crypto artist may feel that something new has come in and diluted the market, and he will have his own part of judgment, including collectors who have some preconceived impressions. When he sees something like beeple or pak, he will think that it is crypto art. I think there will definitely be noise, but as an individual, there is no big problem if you do your best to make your own stuff, because the market will always change.
ArtGee: How do you view your work? For crypto artists, social media operations are very important, how do you understand social media?
Jeffrey: I don’t look at my current Everyday stuff as a work, it’s actually my practice, and that’s why I don’t mint most of my work. But I think the funny thing is that a lot of my practice is liked by a lot of people, and that gives it the possibility to become a work. The good thing about this is that with some of the social media that we have now, it’s actually very good for me personally, as a designer and as an artist, to have a strong community base that gives me a lot of feedback that I don’t see. There are many things that I think are very good and very satisfying, but people’s reactions to them are not, because they are too personal. Some of the works I just simply build, for example, the mahjong work, I just think it’s funny and then rush to make it, but people like it very much. Some people may have a certain aversion to social media, they may feel that posting it dilutes the seriousness or value of the work. There was a time when I thought social media was bad, I thought what should be put in the gallery should be put in the gallery, what should be printed in the book should be printed in the book, but now I have changed my mind, your stuff needs to be put in a place where people can see it, so that you can receive feedback from different voices and different places.
ArtGee: Your work has recently been featured in Poly Auction and there will be a lot of collaborations with ArtGee, do you feel excited?
Jeffrey: I’m actually a little overwhelmed by all the opportunities I’ve received so far. I think a lot of opportunities come quickly because my evaluation of my own work is actually some practice work, and I’m afraid of being overwhelmed hahaha. In fact, sometimes I wonder if this more relaxed and free environment will also cause some unfairness, for example, for those who have better ideas and better skills but don’t post their work, so will there be some unfairness to those people.
ArtGee: What is the current plan of development?
Jeffrey: My main idea at the moment is to become a competent designer first, I’m not in a hurry. I think I’m still a designer 80% of the time, solving problems for other people. As for being a crypto artist, I am more in a state of relaxation and enjoyment, so there is no pressure. And I actually enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes from solving problems for others in a visual way, which is also more rational, because I can discover problems that others cannot see and then solve them through design.
ArtGee: You feel like a very mature and stable person, how do you adapt to such qualities in today’s fast-paced market?
Jeffrey: I’m a conservative person, like I’m still holding bitcoin and ethereum. I don’t trade fast, I don’t trade anything that I think is risky. I’m also afraid to get too caught up in superficial things, like work or NFT. When people do it fast to keep up with the pace, they don’t have a deep understanding of what’s behind it.
ArtGee: Thank you for your generous sharing today, and I look forward to seeing your NFT work at ArtGee!
#Everyday Practice Work:
#Graphic design work. Bitcoin Node Part of the showcase
Focusing on photography and architecture until the age of 20, artist Jeffrey Su’s photographs have a strong contemporary feel and one can feel the strong emotions conveyed by the moments captured in his work. These works are based on the artist’s subjective impressions and personal experiences, as well as maintaining a certain distance to capture the wonderful moments in life. As the artist says, take photos at your own pace, but also be tolerant of loneliness, so that you will naturally grind out surprising photographic works.
This article is copyrighted by ArtGee.