Date of Award

Spring 6-4-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Graphic Design

First Advisor

Nancy Skolos

Second Advisor

Thomas Wedell

Third Advisor

Ryan Waller


We perceive the world as flat when we close one eye. When both eyes are open, the world takes on a three-dimensional quality.

Our childhood, education, family, and environment form and bind our cognitive perspective. As the ancient Chinese proverb goes: “You can’t see Mount Tai by blinding your eyes with one leaf.” Truth is exceedingly difficult to discern. Like the obscuring leaf, there are blind spots in our vision. Prejudice is often the narrow leaf that obstructs perception, preventing us from seeing with greater dimension.

For actual comprehension, we can only see through the eyes, hearts, and minds of others that which we have not considered or comprehended. Although the world is complex, the truth is concealed, prejudices are tenacious, and the mind is weak, we must continue pursuing the truth we desire.

Openness is a four-part journey toward widening my perspective of the world, society, politics, culture, race, and gender by returning to a primal mode of observation: vision. What emerges is neither law nor guide but an attitude or method of finding direction and understanding. Over the course of this exploration, I hopefully break free of the one leaf syndrome and provide pathways for my audience to do the same.


View exhibition online: Qiwen Ju, Openness



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