Jia Wang was born in Lanzhou, Gansu, China. She holds a B.A. in photography from Beijing Film Academy, Beijing, China and an M.F.A. in Imaging Arts, Photography, and Related Media from Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY. Wang is a multimedia artist currently living and working in New York City.
家 is a multimedia site-specific installation comprised of video, collage, and photographic images. In Chinese, 家 means family and home. This body of work 家 explores the domestic violence that is prevalent in the typical Chinese family and the complex family relationships that result from this trauma. Traumatic memories, which are unbearable experiences, have inspired this artwork from both a personal and cultural perspective.
In traditional Chinese culture, the family is the most basic unit and many aspects of Chinese life can be tied to honoring one’s parents or ancestors. Family practices, such as interactions between family members and disciplinary actions, are passed down from one generation to another. For me, family is the most intimate relationship, but also the most confusing. In my family, love and hostility can be difficult to separate. Past memories and encounters still hold significance because they have shaped me into the person I am today. These stories are both past’s future and future’s past, physically and psychologically speaking.
By presenting this body of work 家, I am sharing my visual inquiry into trauma, personal story telling, and the role that family has in shaping an artistic vision. These themes are at the center of my current research and work. In carrying out this installation, I am examining and displaying for the audience how trauma is revealed through family relationships, and how it alters an individual and a family’s identity when visualized.
To view more of Jia Wang’s work please visit her website.