Jing Huang is a ceramic artist and sculptor currently based in Toronto, Ontario. Jing was born and raised in China. She received her BFA from Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in 2012 and her Advanced Diploma in ceramics from Sheridan College in 2015. Jing's works has been exhibited in Canada, China and the United States since 2010. She is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto.
If the distance between China and Canada is 7723 km, then what’s the distance between the previous me and the current me? If there are 12 hours between home and here, what time is it for me now? When a new life meets an old one, that moment draws me close. Tasting newness and oldness at the same time, I can experience the distance and difference between there and here, then and now.
Here, in public parks, the bottoms of trees are protected with mounds of mulch, surrounded by grass. The squirrels are many and they run freely (they aren’t afraid of humans). So many birds hang out in the parking lots. The first year I came to Canada, there was the Big Frozen, the ice storm. When water falls in South China, it’s just rain. When the water fell here last time, the extreme temperature froze the moment and I could see its beauty.
I collect these memories as many different lives – each one is stored in my imagination, as collage elements for my future work.
My explorations are guided by new experiences that come from living in an unfamiliar landscape, meeting different people and experiencing new cultures. The figures, which I believe would not be able to function in the present or move forward without relying on their memory, are a potent symbol and vehicle for me to carry the story. The process involves building volumes, then cutting into them to open up space. This allows me to see inside the piece, meaning that I can look back into the time of making, into the past life of the object – and also into my own past. By taking away old parts, I make room for new possibilities.
In my recent sculpture, I have been exploring nature, loss, dislocation, culture, and mythology. Nature changes a lot. It moves, as I have moved. One loses many things during a move. Sometimes I feel that I have lost my language, my peace of mind, and my close connection with friends and family. Through the process of contemplating and recognizing one’s shifting identity, I am gradually getting interested in researching different cultures and referencing mythologies. This is combined with my observations from daily surroundings. By this way, I’m able to find my key to making sculpture, my way to Shi Wai Tao Yuan, my Shangri-la.