Hello Jiachen! What was your starting point for exploring the theme of What Do People Make of Glasgow?
The themes of my works usually start from the process of getting along with my surroundings and myself. At one time I used to focus on my own experiences and relate to hot topics in society to find a theme. But after I came to Glasgow, I felt closer to the city and nature. Now I prefer to feel a natural connection with something in my life, and create something based on that, something that exists naturally in the moment, and I think naturally reveals different
themes from different viewers’ perspectives.
Can you walk us through your creative process?
My creative process is mostly based on my empathy for the things around me, and building bridges with them through a shift in my perspective. I will try many different forms, sculpture, painting, performance, video, etc., in order to look forward to the different
perspectives of the things I am concerned about, which may be sandbags, feathers, rubbish, masonry… in the street, and my process of creation is generally a process of trying to have a dialogue with them and connecting with them.
How did your artistic journey start?
I studied traditional drawing from primary schools to high school, and I loved sketching. Although I found it a bit boring and difficult to draw with single colours at the beginning, the relationship with the pencil taught me to “talk” with the things around me, to respect the non-figures, and to feel the freedom I had not felt for a long time outside of the pressure of study. During my undergraduate studies, Gao Minglu’s book The Wall introduced me to the fascination of contemporary Chinese art, and I was fascinated by the collision of different forms and ideas, which led me to experiment more with my practice.
How has your practice changed over time?
I think I have become more able to face myself honestly over time. In the past, I might have been more interested in following hot topics, which made it easy for me to be held hostage by other people’s views and opinions, and then lose the vigour of my creativity. Now I
consciously pay attention to the non-human things around me and try to explore their space, language and world.
How do you overcome creative blocks?
Stay fresh and curious about life, the environment and things that exist around me are different every day, and cherish the time and opportunities to spend with them.
Who influences you? Which other artists work do you love?
I really like Anthony Gormley, Sarah Lucas, Louise Bourgeois, David Hammons, Francis Bacon, Lin Tianmiao…… Anthony Gormley’s creative critical interventions on the relationship between the human body and space intrigue me and provoke me to think about
the things in my daily life in relation to my body and the spaces they structure.
What advice would you give to artists who are just starting out?
Actually, I am also an artist who is just starting out, and I think the most important thing is sincerity and the confrontation with oneself. Everyone has unique perspectives, experiences and ideas, so keep an open mind and cherish your perception of the world and nature.
Unknown Errors runs at Six Foot Gallery until 19th September 2023.