Yirui Jia (b.1997)
Chinese, works and lives in NY, US.
Appearing in gestural, expressive and fierce moments, Jia’s paintings examine and celebrate the fantastic lives of mundane existence: a one-eyed bride with an eye patch, dancing ballerina shark, a British soldier, a power strip, a roadblock, a NYC taxi, a palm tree, a cigarette man, Jeff Koons’ balloon dog, etc. She describes these characters as actors on a theatrical stage where she explores how they interact with the surroundings and others. Jia empowers them with complex imaginary identities to connect and interact with the dramatic environment by reinventing, animalizing and anthropomorphizing daily objects.
“As an artist I act as both a director and a participant in my work. Through many characters and actors’ behaviors, the paintings are often fragmentary notes of my reflections of the world. The elements that appear in my paintings are often ordinary daily objects that are easy to identify, such as power strips, magnets, palm trees, and Jeff Koons’ balloon dog. For me, there is no difference between the traffic lights in New York and Beijing; palm trees and fire extinguishers are alike all over the world. I love the undifferentiated universality of objects which make me able to draw from what I have seen and have viewers engage with the visual clues that I want them to notice. The paintings depict the internal conflicts of my modern and humorous anti-heroes, revealing the appetite for a spectacle, love for the superficial, tender loneliness, and an ever-going need to be seen”. -Yirui Jia