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Artistic Reverie: Five Emerging Talents in "A Room of One's Own"

turquoise ether magazine05/02/24 19:19223

In her timeless work "A Room of One’s Own," Virginia Woolf eloquently articulated the importance of financial independence and personal space for women to thrive. The "A Room of One’s Own" art exhibition, curated by Wenyi Shi, breathes life into this concept, transcending traditional gallery spaces. Transforming three newly designed flats into art installations, the exhibition provides a distinctive backdrop for five emerging artists. Their works delve into themes of goddesses, reincarnation, identity struggles, and astute observations of life, offering a fresh and intimate perspective on art.

Curator’s Vision:

Wenyi Shi, a curator with a background in theatre costume design and painting, shatters conventional gallery norms. Rejecting the sterile white cube, she seeks out living spaces and communal areas with character and soul to curate her exhibitions. Her deceptively effortless exhibitions conceal the meticulous planning and dedication behind each unique experience.

Artist Profiles:

Zoey Chang, a London-based visual artist from Taiwan, delves into queer experiences through mixed-media art, primarily focusing on oil painting. Her work uses gender identity and sexuality as a launching point. The "Transparency and Digital Imagery" series by Chang explores the erosion of traditional identities in the digital era. By removing contextual backgrounds, she prompts viewers to confront the rootlessness that accompanies our perpetually connected online lives.

“Abstraction of Bodies” series by Zoey Chang
“Abstraction of Bodiesseries by Zoey Chang

Zijing Chen, a London-based visual artist of Chinese descent, draws inspiration from existentialist philosophy and magical realism literature. Her artistic repertoire spans various mediums, including painting, digital art, graphic novels, and animation. Chen employs symbolism and absurd aesthetics to unravel the intricacies of human existence. "Oil on Wood Panel," a piece by Chen, intricately intertwines symbols like apples and moons, offering a metaphorical journey through life, cycles, and desire.

Oil on Wood Panel (PRINT), 80×25cm bu Zijing Chen
Oil on Wood Panel (PRINT), 80×25cm bu Zijing Chen

Jiao Ling, a London-based visual artist with an MA in Illustration from Camberwell College of Arts, is renowned for her professional illustration work, including collaborations with EPOCH Magazine and "Walk along the line" Schön. Her series of watercolor illustrations narrates the story of Circe from Greek mythology—a powerful woman who experienced both empowerment and isolation. Through her art, Ling encourages reflection on the contemporary challenges faced by women.

Water Colours on paper (PRINT), 10×15cm (Set of three); 26.5*38cm by Jiao Ling
Water Colours on paper (PRINT), 10×15cm (Set of three); 26.5*38cm by Jiao Ling

Jiaxing Li, a visual artist based in London and Beijing, explores the intricate layers of emotion, memory, and perception that shape one’s self. Her artistic journey delves deep into the subconscious, unveiling concealed truths through symbolism and metaphor. Li’s artwork, such as "Oil on Canvas," reflects her personal experiences and universal themes. This particular piece draws inspiration from moments of identity crisis while contemplating the vastness of Beijing.

Oil on Canvas (PRINT), 30×40cm by Jiaxing Li
Oil on Canvas (PRINT), 30×40cm by Jiaxing Li

Jingtao Wu, a fine art artist settled in Bath, offers a unique perspective on life through his oil paintings and watercolors. Specializing in observing and documenting life’s beauty from an oriental perspective, Wu’s artwork captures the essence of existence. "Watercolour on Rice Paper," one of Wu’s pieces, experiments with layering watercolors on Chinese rice paper. The serene colors of lemons harmonize with the azure hues of the Ru kiln, creating a tranquil and decorative painting that encapsulates a quiet ambiance.

Watercolour on Rice paper (PRINT), 25×25cm by Jingtao Wu
Watercolour on Rice paper (PRINT), 25×25cm by Jingtao Wu

The "A Room of One’s Own" art exhibition, curated by Wenyi Shi, beckons visitors to explore the fusion of art and everyday life in a non-traditional setting. Through the artworks of five emerging artists, the exhibition invites viewers to ponder themes of identity, empowerment, and the shifting landscapes of the digital age. It stands as a testament to the enduring relevance of Virginia Woolf’s call for independence and personal space as catalysts for creativity and self-discovery.

Author: Jenya Stashkov, artist and art critic, Sheffield, UK

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