Human beings have traveled from prehistory through an agricultural era to the industrial age to modern society today. I think every transition is a luxury trap. Why have there been there so many transitions? Why are transitions are traps?
The human being is a special kind of animal that endlessly strives for a better life. Human beings work hard for a better life that includes more luxury, no matter the material aspect or spiritual aspect. But when they complete a transition, they always fall into another trap that has different problems.
My works illustrate three different transitions of the human being. The first transition is migration. I wrote words on my millstone piece to tell the story of my family and myself, and also the changing times in China over the past 40 years, and even though my family moved from the country to the city for a better life in the city, we became stuck in a luxury trap. The second transition is cognition. I use the needles piece to explain how human beings got into a trap when they made the transition from prehistory to the agricultural era. Human beings settled down and domesticated plants and animals, so they got diseases. They then could not go back to nomadic days. The third transition is industrialization. The human being becomes the god of all other things. All the existence in the world serves the human being. I use my work to explain the existence results of industrial time, which is governed by human beings.
Art is my vehicle to explore the primitive nature of human beings and how the primitive nature dictates our reactions to everything in the world. At the same time, I use my work to provoke the audience's thoughts about humanization in general and our world as a whole.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Art metal-work--Themes, motives; Industrialization in art; Human evolution--Pictorial works
Metals and Jewelry Design (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School for American Crafts (CIAS)
Juan Carlos Caballero-Perez
Wu, Zhihui, "The Luxury Trap" (2017). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus