Maybe This World is Another Planet’s Hell

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Jing Hu is an artist who examines ideas around flux, migration, urban-life with aesthetic codes as markers of identity and aspirations. She was born in China, grew up in Singapore and has lived in a few different countries. Art has been her visual journal depicting disparate elements in my life inspired by specific people and places.

Hu extrapolates bits of architecture and history from her own itinerant experience to create synthetic worlds that shatter into numerous pictures and stories. In the process, some lost memories would need to be manufactured. In some small way, She feels as though she is becoming empowered to re-imagine these gaps, rather than to simply record it.

Hu’s art has been exhibited in galleries in Chicago, London and China. Recently, her painting won Public Choice Award and Highly Recommended Painting for ArtGemini Art Prize.

In the modern society, people are constantly moving and traveling, resulting in hybrid identities, blurred cultural borders and confusing social contexts. How does one negotiate the ever more confusing realities of contemporary life between past spatial memories and new geographical locations? What is identity? Does it change as one travels?

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Hu had been interested in creating disquieting themes concerning an internal sense of self and decay. In her mind, stories and imageries always contain some sort of calamity. Her work—primarily consisting of realistic figures set in claustrophobic dreamscapes of warped beauty—is changing direction both conceptually and formally. Incorporating elements and traces from contemporary life and her personal memories is now paramount. Main theme she has been constantly exploring is identity, more specifically the sentiment of being “stranger”, someone on constant exile, as well as the migrant experience. She explores her heritage and the impact of living in different new countries; her search for meaning, sense and identity in a context where details of everyday life are strange and confusing. 

Hu’s paintings reflect her own nomadic geographical trajectory, exploring ideas around flux, migration, urban-life with aesthetic codes as markers of identity and aspirations. Hu carries with her a hybridity of cultures and values and her art tells intriguing stories of fear, dislocation, nostalgia, home-sickness and longing. They are emotional response to her interpretation of her living trajectory.

She extrapolates bits of architecture and history from her itinerant experience to create synthetic worlds that shatter into numerous pictures and stories. In the process, some lost memories would need to be manufactured. In some small way, she feels as though she is becoming empowered to re-imagine these gaps, rather than to simply record it. Evidences and traces from her daily life such as receipts, magazines and maps are also collected as points of departure for her composition. In a nutshell, the imageries that she paints and the materials collected are usually informed by what is going on around her and what she is attracted to conceptually or visually.

Portrait

Her paintings represent imaginary landscapes that mirror and document a perception of her real life environment. In doing so, she is also hoping to speak more broadly to the lost social and cultural information for generations of Chinese who has been spending most of their life drifting abroad. She conceives the unstable and fragile equilibrium of diverse and seemingly random textures, shapes, marks, images and references and their interaction with one another in her work, a realistic likeness to cosmopolitan human society. They can be read as maps due to their composition, or dairies due to the found paper element, or simply snapshot summaries of our social and natural world. She is hoping that through the slow recreation of the original documents, the viewer, too, will slowly take in the paintings.

Jing Hu’s Solo Exhibition – Tuesday 13 May 2014, 6 – 830pm Anatomy Musem , King’s College London, Strand WC2R 2LS

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