Ning Jiang

Artist Statement

My thesis is about surfaces and how emotions can be conveyed through them in different ways. A surface can cover emotions, act as protection, and can be mysterious because of the unknown under it. Surface and layers are an essential part of the human body. A person’s outward appearance, what they show to others, is often different than what a person feels inside.

The strongest memory that influenced me and made me interested in human emotion as an artistic concept, was when I was in 5th and 6th grades. On many days, I climbed to the top of the water tower on the roof of our apartment building and stayed there for at least an hour after school. I would watch the sky became darker and darker until finally, I was immersed in total darkness. I can still remember my feelings at that time, my heart was full of emotions, but I didn’t need to speak about them, I just let them wash over me. This past experience made me interested in expressing emotions through my illustrations and sculptures. My idea is how I am feeling about my covered emotions. I feel emotions exist strongly inside me, however when I express them, they become faded. This sense is just like turbulent flow deeply under a calm water surface. In order to express my idea, I chose to use storytelling and illustration to show the emotional layers of myself as a human. My characters represent various emotional journeys in my illustrations. They embody the metamorphosis of emotions. I want my audience to recall their own feelings, as I have, in order to see their layers of emotions.