Tennis Elbow: Julia Chiang's Weeklong Solo @ The Journal Gallery NYC
It's a homecoming for Brooklyn-based painter, sculptor and installation artist Julia Chiang who returns to NYC to take part in The Journal Gallery's signature weekly exhibitions.
After dedicating time to family and raising children, Julia Chiang has a case of itchy fingers, and has been notching a stream of successful shows. Energized by care of life dynamics and buoyed by the forces of nature, her meditative abstract creations are visual metaphors for these pulsing phenomena. "I see my paintings and ceramics as all connected. Thinking on different parts or functions of the body, movement or lack of, internal or external pressures, but all related to one another."
After big presentations with The Modern Institute in Glasgow and Nanzuka Underground in Tokyo, Chiang returns to her hometown with a more compact showcase at the iconic location. "It was fun to think on a show for the Journal space. It's intimate so I wanted the paintings to be able to talk to each other in a way–individual but connected somehow." With a standard 'Saturday at noon' opening time, the reception felt more like a family party than a formal gallery event, reflecting the genuine spirit behind the works. With three acrylics on wood panel in the main room, one in the window, and a ceramic piece in the backroom, the colorful exhibition provided great insight to Chiang's practice and current focus of interest. "There are a lot of colors for the small space," she agreed. "I imagine the colors that would form if the paintings absorbed one another – not just blending of colors, but mood and desire. And I also think about colors that coexist in nature – the colors within us – and it starts feeling like everything is fine side by side."
Such an exuberant outlook on life, the urge to capture and encourage such positivity in celebrating nature's endless creative energy come to fruition in her ceramic piece, Yes You Can – a response to an overwhelmingly negative atmosphere in a world that seems to be fracturing. Whether referencing work-family balance or absorbing the news, Chiang creates palpable, solid symbols proving things, indeed, can happen. –Sasha Bogojev