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Photography (MA)

Jiaxin Liang

Jiaxin Liang (b. 1997) is a visual artist based in London and Shenzhen, working with photography, moving image and video installation. She treats the creative process as a conversation, a recall and a reverie. Wandering in memories, experiences, and imagination, she creates visual journeys with multiple layers of meaning through different allegorical and illusory narratives. The re-exploration of time, history, her own personal familial and cultural experiences are woven into events. Jiaxin also intends to transcribe personal involvement into a shared understanding.

Under the Lychee Tree (2020-ongoing) is a photographic project that confronts the human condition through themes related to memory, grieving, and the cycle of reincarnation. By creating metaphorical visual images and connecting the symbols in the objects and historical landscape, I am looking for the subjective image of the place where I grew up, attempting to create an allegory to illustrate intimacy, the impermanence of life and implicit emotions.

The relationship with local myths, folklore and their imagined content is the source of information for the works, and this strategy functions as visual and textual parables. Mount Luofu, a sacred mountain not far from my home, was also a place fit for the gods in the writings of the ancient Chinese poet Liu Yuxi. Many years ago, people who lived here could see the sun at midnight; A traditional Chinese fable, The Butterfly Dream, posed philosophical arguments that human beings are hard to distinguish the exact boundary between reality and illusion. Everything can be transformed mutually; At the local funeral, people will remind each other not to harm any animals or insects because our dead relatives may come back as various creatures. These myths and folktales have inherited the spiritual sustenance from generation to generation, giving an understanding of life and death, and the courage to confront the loss.

The romanticized historical landscapes, still life, and portraits construct the intersection of reality and memory, in which a certain sense of separation from reality can be discerned. As a way to deal with trauma, crisis, and uncertainty, how can we reconstruct new narratives by connecting history and memory via visual creation, to have a conversation with the past human experiences? In times of crisis, emotional resonance with others brings comfort and psychological relief. We are still relying on the illusion brought by these visual stories - for avoiding inner desires and fears, to confront the prospect of loss and nothingness.

Preface, 2020 — C-type print, 50×62cm
a pond by the Fairy Bridge, 2020 — C-type print, 100cm×80cm
[untitled], 2020 — C-type print, 30×24cm
Daylight, 2020 — C-type print, 36×45cm
[untitled], 2020 — Giclée print, 36×28.8cm
I inhale your pain#1, 2020 — Giclée print, 80×100cm
I inhale your pain#2, 2020 — Giclée print, 80×100cm
An Echo, 2020 — C-type print, 25×20cm
Inside the wall, 2021 — C-type print, 30×24cm
Outside the wall, 2021 — C-type print, 30×24cm
Lychee flower#1, 2021 — C-type print, 30×24cm
Lychee flower#2, 2021 — C-type print, 30×24cm
Newborn, 2020 — Giclée print, 50×62cm
[untitled], 2020 — Giclée print, 32×40cm
still, from A Windy Night (2020)
A Windy Night (2020) — a page from my diary

A Windy Night (2020) is a video work recorded by the first-person perspective on a night adventure with my father, where I observe my own family narrative within the pandemic. The film is a projection of reality and a historical record during what has been the current unusual period for many. Intimacy, the fragility of the individual, the impermanence of life, and situational awareness are integral to my current contemplation.


Video (B & W, sound)


4 min, 26 sec.