Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Depicting the mythical and chaotic, my work revisits traditional and pop-cultural icons. I borrow my framing of absurdity from Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus: “In a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. [...]This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity.”
I grew up as the only child in a family of diplomats, a learning journey that mutated across geographies. Born in China, I lived in Russia, Mongolia and Korea before coming to the USA. My world is an aesthetic amalgamation of dissonant cultures. Constant moving bred insecurity: the feeling of detachment surrounded me tightly. Over time, I stopped adjusting and became comfortable simply observing. If life is a comic strip, I’m outside the frame.
My paintings are uncanny, examining myths, cartoons and memories. They rely on rich texture, bright colors, and clear lines: to me, absurdity is out of context; loss of connection; detachment from familiar settings. All the helpless animals, lifeless trees, Mahjong cards, increscent moons, and trapped souls in my work are entities divorced from their settings.
By layering and recombining cultural icons, I create visual barriers that mimic and illustrate the dissonance I experience as an immigrant within the transnational Chinese diaspora. Fundamentally, these paintings are an indictment: an expression of my desire to assimilate and inform, expressing the uncanny through juxtaposition and dark humor to construct new intersectional imaginaries.
Steinhiser, Jingqi Wang, "Uncaring universe" (2022). Masters Theses. 904.
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View exhibition online: Jingqi (Wang) Steinhiser, Uncaring Universe