"A Gift for Jasper" is an installation artwork that discusses the changes and paradoxes in the Chinese family structure since the one-child policy was abolished. After experiencing the "one-child policy" and raising a child, a big age gap developed between the two children after giving birth to a second child. In the age of globalization, there is a conflict between the expectations for individual growth driven by independent thought and the Chinese-style family bond rooted in the mind. Because of the large age difference, the elder child's attitudes toward the younger are more paternal than peer. Simultaneously, the traditional Chinese family idea places additional strain on the big child: support, responsibility, care, and so on. The work is composed of 24 marshmallow brick plaster surrounding a pile of marshmallows, for my brother, Jasper.
My brother was born in 2016. His name is Jasper. Being an only child for 17 years had made me believe it was normal to be the centre of the family, but Jasper’s arrival has changed my life changed dramatically. These changes matured me, not just in terms of age and physical maturity, but also in terms of psychological development and taking on the role of sister. I couldn't understand what's going on around me or how those things related to my life when I was a child, I took everything for granted naively. Having Jasper in my life inspired me to re-examine the world through the eyes of a child. Marshmallow is one of the most common kid snacks. Marshmallows are stacked with plaster. The plaster dissipated heat while solidified. The marshmallows, however, melted, swelled, contracted, and left colours in the plaster.
Since China's reform and opening up, family planning has been referred to as a fundamental national policy, and the one-child policy has been adopted. Despite the fact that there are more options to have children in rural areas, the one-child society persisted until 2015. The complete implementation of the policy allowing one couple to have two children, often known as the two-child policy, is intended to address China's present national ageing crisis.
The ethical and moral tradition, which was gradually cultivated by the notion of benevolence under the ancient patriarchal system, has long been respected by Chinese culture. Traditional family ethics, in a society founded on the conceptual framework of Confucian ethics, not only guide people's moral values in the basic family unit but also define the legal rules of daily behaviour for diverse social positions on a larger scale.
To some extent, traditional beliefs are ingrained in the heart, and people surely obey basic moral principles related to that when fulfilling social duties. Young people who have grown up in an era of progressive change and innovation have begun to confront the conflict between traditional family values and the pursuit of self-worth. However, the feelings induced by age disparities, such as love and responsibility, complete the reconciliation between family, individual, and traditional concepts. The elder child, who was once an only child in a household, matured quickly in the duties that came with becoming a third "parent" now. When a younger member of the family joins the family, he gradually wraps up his emotional feelings and consciously transitions his identity to one that carries parental duty; this is an achievement of the individual's integrity. Breaking out from the unending chasm between free will and familial responsibilities is also a form of societal progress.