Artist's Statement

Jiawei Zhao

work samples 1-6 inkjet print on self-adhesive fabric paper. 7-15 regular inkjet print. Size: samples 1-6 42x56inches. 7-15 various size ex. 40x30inches, 24x32inches, 30x45inches.

My photo-based art practice stems from that personal experience, which I have moved or transferred among many different types of places and spaces since my childhood. In other words, I moved from a small town to Beijing, and then I moved to Wisconsin, Texas, and finally New York City in the order. Those sudden changes of places prompt me to create a perfect space of both comforts and feelings of security in photographic spaces. Inspiring by the French concept "flaneur" and Confusing temporal and spatial relationships, so all of my artwork is two-dimensional photographs, which are taken of photographic installations.

I call this series “Wallpapers” because it evokes the common practice forty years ago of pasting newspapers on the walls of one’s home, a handy and affordable solution for wallpaper in China. I am only using The New York Times due to The Times routinely reports what is happening within China and its website even has a Chinese language version. I use both online images and personal images to highlight subjectivity and objectivity. The newspapers are black/dark colors because I soaked in traditional Chinese watercolor ink before. The newspapers are yellow because I soaked in photographic developer before. Because I was not an international student anymore, I am currently researching and creating the perfect photographic space for new Chinese immigrants including myself after taking education in the States. On the Times Chinese language website, which is one of only three language versions including English and Spanish, there is a fixed, permeant, and keeping updated photo column showed what kind of house you could get in the States wide if you could pay $250,000, 500,000 or 1million, etc.? So, I downloaded and printed out those houses pictures, then I applied those fragments of houses pictures in my work-in-process.