As part of the 80’s generation, I experienced the dramatic social transformation in my home city Changsha as China opened up to the world. High-speed modernization has completely rewritten the cityscape and erased our past. In contrast to the Dutch urban modernization, skyscrapers were erected at the cost of the old city center and local communities. Like many others, my family was displaced to make room for shopping centers. The river is no longer the same, the old neighbourhood no longer recognizable. In the progress of rapid material development, we gained prosperity, but lost touch with our roots; became strangers in our own cities. There is a sense of self-imposed exile and unbelonging for me when residing in a far-off land. Or, as my father puts it, living in a hometown that no longer resembles the memories of one’s childhood.
At the same time, social media has added to a global sense of disorientation. We are disconnected from ourselves, navigating in a world inundated with incomplete, fragmented information that lacks depth and substance. My grandmother often shares dubious internet information with me, which misleads her from her own perspective and disrupts our connection in terms of imparting knowledge. The misguiding information circulating on social media obscures our view of the world, and fuels misunderstanding, prejudice, or even hatred between groups and nations. As a Chinese artist living in the Netherlands, I am especially concerned about the growing hostility between China and the West.
My practice is influenced by these experiences, which have instilled in me a sense of transience. For me, reality is ultimately composed of those seemingly insignificant moments through which we come to understand the impermanence, the nothingness of life. To reconnect to reality and find a sense of belonging, I work with intimate and banal moments of everyday life, involving people, my surroundings, animals, etc. I grab them through the lens of my phone or from the fleeting stream of social media and give them meaning by painting them on my canvas. In the performance “Rivers”, I connect to my roots, by re-enacting the daily ritual of poetry sharing with my father. In a wider context, it carries my hope to engage with the world, to contribute towards bridging the rifts between people and nations.
Diploma in Product and Experience Design,
Singapore Polytechnic, 2013
B.A. in Fine Arts,
Gerrit Rietveld Academie, 2020
Erasmus exchange at Figurative Painting Department,
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, 2017. 10. – 2018. 3.
2020 - Graduation show, Gerit Rietveld Academie
2020 - Best of Graduates 2020, Galerie Ron Mandos
2021 - Jong Talent 2020, Artphy
2021 - Temporal Space, Josilda Da Conceicao Gallery
2021 - B.BASE: 3-day expo, performance, conversations, 4bid Gallery
2021 - F1 - Flag Show, Trixie
2022 - Celebração, Josilda Da Conceicao Gallery
2022 - Art Rotterdam, with Josilda Da Conceicao Gallery
2022 - Artist residency at Lek Art Culemborg
2022 - First Studies in Virology - Designing a New Disease, punt WG
2022 - Untitled 2 - Josilda Da Conceicao Gallery
2023 - Gaze of the Whispers, SinArts Gallery
2023 - An Evening at the Factory & Nacht van de Film, De Gelderlandfabriek