Cognition is a mental activity during which information is received through perception and judgment. From birth people gradually construct their own cognitive understanding of the world. Predecessors often transmit their own past experiences to others in order to efficiently build up the values that they think are correct. For constructing cognition easily and rapidly, predecessors tend to generalize and simplify the information so that others can readily understand and judge, but it is often distorted and doesn’t express the full meaning inside.
People have the ability to explore their own answer for everything. However, after the process of simplifying information by predecessors, a rigid formula and the standard explanation often root in people’s minds. Therefore, people frequently are trapped in black-and-white thinking and struggle in dualities such as male and female, right and wrong, strong and gentle. However, these options can’t completely cover all the possibilities. All things in the world are too complicated to be easily defined and sorted into two opposites. They can’t be summarized with a certain value or just two sides, but people still tend to use this rough definition in order to help them make a decision or sort things out easily. The ambiguous things that are not fit in bifurcation usually aren’t accepted by society. They suffer from discrimination and exclusion due to misunderstandings.
According to Taoism, things will go to the opposite manner when they develop over extreme. Everything balances on its own. There is only a concept of a relative rather than an absolute value. Nevertheless, choosing not to choose is also an option. We can choose to wander between two opposite ways, not excess or deficiency, but both and without boundaries. If we can embrace the experience of opposites with our broad mind, the opposites will allow us to realize the expression of wholeness.
I hope to represent this phenomenon in my artwork and genuinely elaborate the fact from observation in my own way. The goal of my work is to maintain the balance and harmony of two opposites in order to direct the mind to a state of constant equilibrium. It’s a way to represent the epitome of the interdependent universe from which everything comes.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Art metal-work--Themes, motives; Androgyny (Psychology) in art; Gender identity in art; Human figure in art
Metals and Jewelry Design (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School for American Crafts (CIAS)
Juan Carlos Caballero-Perez
Liaung Chung Yen
Chien, Yu-Chi, "Androgyny" (2017). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus