Ni describes her practice as a filter that analysis image fragments in daily life. From a disappearing TV channel, the growth of women’s self-care literature, to the rising of influencers and intimacy cultural barriers, she juxtaposes these phenomena with Taiwanese folk tales, to imagine the future of society.
During her residency with East Street Arts, Ni will explore the music industry and street subculture in Leeds, and visit various filming locations of the nation’s favourite soap Emmerdale to gather research for her upcoming projects.
About the artist
Jui-Hung NI, aka “Chinese Fairy” is a multi-disciplinary artist who works in illustrations, installations, literature, and Feminist studies through field research, with taking inspiration from Taiwanese subcultures from the 70s till modern days. Her work often features melodramatic narratives with elements of black humour, aesthetically she uses a lot of bold colours and visual cues from previous eras, fusing aspects of Taiwanese everyday life, to present or mock various social phenomena including gender issues, folk beliefs and the media.
Ni’s practice is constantly inspired by her surroundings and daily life; her confessional paintings draw great similarities to the genre of I-Novels, where her work can be considered as Personal Realism. Her earlier works centred around the research on the symbolism of “Fairy” and what they represent in Mandarin-speaking communities. The research included visits to major temples and shrines throughout Taiwan. Her work pays homage to the craftsmanship and visual elements observed in these traditional architectures, while the contents of the work are often based on her personal experiences as a woman and female artist.
In John Berger’s book Way of Seeing, he comments that the female nude is a major theme in European classics, a “picture culture” in which women are internalized by the male gaze. Berger stated that objectification is the result of seeing and being seen. Men are seers with authority, whereas women are seen. Women’s primary goal from birth seems to be making themselves worthy of being seen. In the process, women internalize the male gaze, and they become used to being constantly seen. (Wong Hoi Wing, “Male Gaze and Pornography”.) Figures and proxies of herself in Ni’s painting are simultaneously seen and put on display. This treatment is a bold statement and reflection of the paralleling obsessions of the sexes between East and West, and the intensified gender power dynamic of this digital era.
NI Juihung (b.1990, Taipei) currently lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan. She is a visual artist and writer. Her work focuses on illustrations, literature and site-specific installation. She holds an MFA from the Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA). Ni’s works have been selected for multiple awards including Taipei Art Award 2019. Her work has been shown in Taipei Fine Art Museum and throughout Taiwan.
As part of this exchange, UK artist Sayang is in residence at Treasure Hill Artist Village (THAV) in Taipei between Jan-Mar 2023. Click here to read about her journey exploring Leeds.
The exchange is supported by the Arts Council England and the Taipei City Department of Cultural Affairs. Delivered in association with East Street Arts, Taipei Artist Village (TAV) and Treasure Hill Artist Village (THAV).