2nd Year Reviews: Jing He by Michelle Rupel

There is something simplistic and delicate about the work of Jing He; she has a way of combining her passion in Japanese painting with the 21st Century digital world that is unique and beautiful. Jing works closely with moments, small details that are easily overlooked, which is very telling about the world we live in. With the invention of the internet, computers, tablets, and smartphone apps, culturally we are quickly learning to forget about the small things, the moments we touch, and the moments we gloss over. Jing’s work is a pleasant reminder of these moments.

Jing has a clear and classical grasp on human anatomy. She draws and paints the human figure with true expertise. Her work is rooted in touch and the moment before touch. The work reminds me that before our brain can catch up to our hands, we are already completing the action we believe our brain intended. Her work is that held breath, the stillness right before the moment is captured, and then further more into the touch itself.

There is a simplistic beauty inside Jing’s work that only the most delicate and carefully crafted hand could make. The irony in Jing’s work is she focuses on hands of a nameless figure, delicate and relatable- and it is clear her own well practiced hands are almost also a focus on the work. It is hard to ignore the level of craft and expertise in Jing’s work, which I think also makes her own hand a part of the work, too. The work about touch, hands, and moments could only be crafted so intimately by practiced hands and a focused mind.

Her work also marries digital tools with the classical; she is able to animate her work in ways that are interesting, fluid, and just as relatable as the image itself. She illustrates touch the way we perform the act, which helps ground the audience and become lost in the moment.

The use of color in Jing’s work is also interesting; she keeps her figures mostly transparent, reflecting the silk she works on. They appear white on the surface, but I think the whiteness of the figure not necessarily point to a Caucasian female. The white hands I think speak to a nameless and faceless figure; the figure is anonymous to the viewer, which then makes it easier for the viewer to insert themselves in the art. They can become the figure and relate to the simplistic gestures that are being illustrated. We have all buttoned our shirts, tied our shoes, and held hands with another human being. Jing’s work captures the fragility of human gesture and how these moments and touches are all universal.

Touch is universal; we all touch. We may not all feel the same way, but we all touch in one way or another.

To learn more about Jing’s work and her process please visit https://jingheart.wordpress.com/

As part of the second-year graduates’ Thesis Projects I course, candidates were each assigned two of their cohort to review. As students begin writing their thesis papers and constructing artist statements, this review process proves to be beneficial twofold. Students not only exercise their written critique skills, but are able to read about their own project from other voices. Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting these reviews, so be sure to visit regularly for insights and photos of the second years’ progress!

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