UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
Professor of Art (Painting & Drawing)
member of graduate faculty
Office: 152 Kleinpell Fine Arts
Peter Mak is a professor of art at the Art Department, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where he has taught since 2004. Peter Mak’s artwork comprises of a range of medium from drawings, prints, digital photos, paintings, ceramic sculptures to installation work. He has been honored with awards (Best of Show and Distinguished Teacher), grants and museum permanent collections, has participated in over fifty-five solo and invited joint exhibitions, and has taught over 25 years in colleges and universities both Hong Kong and America.
One of my recent projects was a series of large digital prints and sculpture installations. The work began with a study of French philosopher Henri Lefebvre’s The Production of Space (about urban space, dwellings and living) and Michael de Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life. My study looked at the ordinary man and his struggle to pursue his shelter, personal space, existence and meanings in everyday life. The red-white-blue nylon sheeting and shopping bag, a cheap and widely used article in Asian countries, is symbolic of transient shelter, fleeting being, and a means of transporting belongings, personal effects and experience. The displaced person, moving from town to town, country to country, is often an ever-present universal unnamed hero like many of us, who takes care of his/her own business, fulfills his/her own schedule, and lives life as an individual among many others within a family, school, workplace, community and country. He and his acts are not noticed and attended to, but his being and efforts are responsible for the beginning and the continuation of humanity and the simple human existence that we are all a part of. A bulldozed village (next to the train station pictured in one of the prints) and its residents served as the subjects of this investigation.