Years ago, I was giving image courses at the fifth studio of GAFA. Zhong Jialing used to be one student of mine at that time, she was keen on experimental art just like most of others. All the students started their early-period art practice since then.
Today, Zhong Jialing already has her own family, rearing two daughters with her husband. But somehow she is still trying to step back and analyse her routine life with a certain stubborn attitude (which possibly ought to her personality). She will apply different art forms to her thoughts in order to show her true feelings more directly. This might be a way she communicates with her life and gain original motivation from the specific touching moments.
Zhong Jialing is attempting to make her works of art immensely close to real life. She is trying to emphasis, in certain way, the body reflection which is more practice-participated along with the imagination brought by the body object during the creation. Sometimes it is like questioning, while not sure what the question is about. Hence there is no standardised answer, only the participation and substitution of the audiences’ instant imagination. The work <Idle> contains a piece of eerie poem about ‘going to buy bras’ and the iron wires of the bra frame; The digital image <Riddle> describes a combination of dubious situation and relevant question settings; With impromptu dalliance, the video performance <By-produce> will take the audiences to a hazy circumstance— in the video, the body aggressively making confusing, unpleasant sound, which is somehow drawing an intense, active and serious impression; The facial expression and the body movement in <Charm exercise> seem to be a repeated performance of imitating ‘charm’(attractiveness). I asked her, why is the video so silent, without any background music? Then she replied, (to perform in) silence has so much to do with embarrassments. Then I realised ‘embarrassed’ might be the key-word to understand her work of art. When watching the <Untitled Family Video>, she stated that the family life is kind of boring sometimes—obviously the inspiration of this video stemmed from her personal experience and her fundamental cognisance towards it. Then I recalled ‘embarrassed’ once again—when the embarrassing experience expands, it will become a continuous state of life, for instance, it will be shelved (this could be further discussed in theoretical philosophy). She attempts to disassemble reality and to confront and overcome the every-day embarrassing moments by absurdly presenting these embarrassments. Hence, the limited yet positive response towards the different level and form of experience could transform embarrassment into strength.
Zhong Jialing is insisting on one principle: her work must be controlled within certain degree of realism, without involving groundless imagination (but in the matter of text-creation she could be aimless in imagination). She creates her work by the means of remaking, transforming and editing. This exhibition is a summarised presentation of her works in recent years, mainly including videos, texts and images. The display of the exhibition is demonstrated and recreated in the intertextuality of the different pieces of works.