Six years after her debut showcase in Japan, Julia Chiang makes a return to Tokyo's Nanzuka Underground on September 6th. Pump And Bump, along with a recent show at The Modern Institute in Glasgow, marks the NYC-based artist's comeback to the art scene.

"I never stopped making art, I just wasn't ready to commit to any projects or shows as I focused on being a mom," Chiang explained of her hiatus. "All of it flies by so fast and I recognize that it is a luxury to choose to take the time. Our country doesn't support the need to be with your children, nor does it give you much of a choice."


Fascinated by the ways we channel and communicate emotion, Chiang's new work portrays that physical expression. "I think a lot about how our blood and feelings crash, flow and merge within us and beyond, how the barriers of our body holding all of that within us, and how it pours out at times."

Pump and Bump goes right to the heart of the matter in a body of ceramic works that pulsate with her signature petal-shapes. Like diagrams of energy flow, her complex seem to flow and grow, nurturing each other in a gush of color. Essentially abstract, the forms throb with life."I do think of my work as figurative, of our bodies, and what it might look like if we could see every clashing and exploding spurt or drip." With this biotic-core in mind, Chiang allows the work to guide her process towards a final image.


In choosing her color palette, Chiang explains, "I often start with colors that I feel connect to our bodies. The colors of our skin, our internal colors and when they exit our bodies. I look at the color of things that relate to our bodies, such as medicine, drugs and body scans." Using a bolder and more vibrant color palette, the work is strong and confident, bursting with the impact of pop art based in nature's fundamental force.

Accompanying the paintings, the exhibition also includes A Little Bit Of You A Little Bit Of Her, her pottery series, and Yes You Can, a series of ceramic text. "I love ceramics for many reasons, but there is something about crafting ceramic letters, which are to be nailed to a wall, that makes the words feel permanent and fragile. A process of endless making, breaking, and starting over." In Chiang's practice, text is a guiding mantra; whether by repeating words or building a phrase from personal notes. Her work is a full-body experience. –Sasha Bogojev

Julia Chiang's Pump and Bump opens at Tokyo's Nanzuka Underground on September 7th and is on view through October 5, 2019.