"I’m always interested in our bodies as vessels, what we contain and what we cannot. All that comes out of us, all that is within us. The borders both real and imagined. Existing in the in-between."
Julia Chiang’s painterly process is meditative. It allows her to slow time and make mental space for opportunities that might emerge instinctively while at work.
Her latest paintings and ceramics expand a point of view frequently scrutinized in her practice: the oscillating pressure of internalized tenderness against external detachment.
The body is the foundation for Chiang’s creations. In recent years, her approach expanded to include new corporeal allegories and plots. Fresh vibrant hues cite neon pigments often seen in medical scans, recounting her maternal experiences. Formally, organic shapes coalesce on the picture plane in varying densities of watercolor wash, and with amoebic fervor, scrimmage for territory. These new developments describe personal introspection and the ubiquity of turmoil.
As an attentive materialist, Chiang recognizes bodily connections to her chosen media. Her vessels are swollen, fragile, and slightly deflated, attempting to contain while resisting external forces. Clay endures multiple transformations during the ceramic process, fluctuating between a fragility and strength that mimic the impermanence of our own vigor. This push and pull exists similarly in her paintings. Their spatial relationships are enriched by surfaces on which paint reveals and hides in its own layers.
Julia’s awareness and tolerance are what enable her to alter shrouded emotions, trauma, and sensations. Her work posits that we are all vessels for embodied turbulence—endlessly expressing inside and outside, and connected by all of our bits.
Julia Chiang (b. 1978) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her degree in Art History and Studio Art from New York University. Her work has been widely exhibited internationally and solo exhibitions of her work include Holding My Breath Moving Closer Closer, The Modern Institute, Glasgow (2020); Julia Chiang, The Journal Gallery, New York (2020), Pump And Bump, NANZUKA, Tokyo (2019); Spit Sweat Shhh, The Modern Institute, Glasgow (2019); Tennis Elbow, The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn (2018) and LET ME IN, LET ME OUT, B20A, New York (2015). Public projects include the Rockaway Hotel mural in Far Rockaway, Queens and the forthcoming Rx Art mural at the Nappi Wellness Institute, SUNY Upstate, Syracuse, NY.
Photo: Julia Chiang photographed by Farzad Owrang
Julia ChiangSalt on Our Skin 12 Jan - 25 Feb 2023I’m always interested in our bodies as vessels, what we contain and what we cannot. All that comes out of us, all that is within us. The borders both real and imagined. Existing in the in-between. Not American enough not Chinese enough, not enough enough. I imagine the millions of...
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