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Visualizing the Subconscious: A Conversation with Digital Artist Jingxin Wang
NCO 036

Drawing upon a seamless integration of digital and physical elements, Jingxin's artistry beckons us to delve into the liminal space between the two. A master of audio-visual expression, Jingxin Wang conjures digital dreamscapes that blend technology with traditional craftsmanship, elevating toy-like visuals into sublime meta-humanistic worlds. As we explore her artistic practice, we find ourselves drawn into a hypnotic narrative that lies at the intersection of nostalgia and the unknown.

N: Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background? How do you define your practice?

J: My name is Jingxin and I'm an artist originally from China, but I now find myself in Sydney. For the past few years, I have been working on audio-visual projects in the underground sub-cultural scene in Shanghai, as well as contributing visuals to various brands and artists from all over the world. I think my artistic practice can be best described as a fusion of digital magic and traditional craftsmanship. Each detail is carefully considered, resulting in a final piece that is an honest expression of my vision.

N: You have had a fascinating and sublime journey in digital art. You have been included in 2022 Dazed100, and your creations generate immersive, technological meta-humanistic, dreamlike worlds that often revisit childhood elements, bringing them to a more adult, elevated, ludic, and somewhat obscured conversation. Where do these toy-related inspirations come from?

J: I think toy-related visual elements always fascinated me because they connect with deep, nostalgic memories and subconsciously reflect our true selves today. As we take care of our inner child, we may be able to identify the origins of the problems we face now.

Many of my visual attempts aim to bring the subconscious to the spotlight, which is why it can be difficult to decode its core through rational means at times.

N: What link can you say you have with fashion and digital fashion? We can see that you have done a lot of work some time ago, and now your works have a textile use related to digital fabrics rather than the construction of outfits. Do you agree with this observation? How do you think this transformation has been happening?

J: I am always interested in using fashion as an alternative way to express my art. I am fascinated by how designers can create fashion products despite having to make compromises and mistakes due to various limitations. Although I am not a trained fashion designer, I constantly try to transform my visuals into different mediums. I want to create fashion items that are not just a reflection of my works but rather inspire a new essence.

N: You have a close bond with the artist Svbkvlt, right? Can you tell us a little bit about your ways of working together and collaborating?

J: SVBKVLT is a record label that was first founded in Shanghai, and its reach has since spread across the world. It played a prominent role in the underground culture scene in Shanghai, and I was fortunate enough to be a part of it. Some of the artists on the label were friends I hung out with in Shanghai, and it felt like we were part of a tight-knit community. The label gave us a lot of creative freedom, allowing us to truly express ourselves without many limitations. This made our collaborations more personal and focused on the individual artistic pursuits of each artist, rather than anything else.

N: Many digital art creators spend their lives behind the computer in a constant state of rendering. You are also a DJ, and you play live visuals. How do you link these two very different ways of expressing yourself? What's exciting about it?

Music has always been one of my biggest inspirations when creating visuals, and during the creative process, they always seem to intertwine.

I hope to enrich my narrative by incorporating music and convey information in a more diverse and dynamic way. I look forward to, perhaps one day, occasionally stepping out from behind my work and becoming a performer.

N: I'm intrigued to know why some of your Instagram carousels often end with images of people in specific situations with pixelated faces. Can you tell us a little bit about why you think they complete your posting routine?

J: I use these images to subtly depict the background of each specific work of that time. During last year, I felt suppressed by the social atmosphere and disappointed in the way society treats individuals. I don't want to point fingers at specific ones, as anyone in such a system will face similar circumstances, only varying in time and degree. I think this is a form of passive protest.

N: And lastly, what's on your mind today? What can we expect from your projects in the near future?

J: I'm working on a new series of pieces that are all about my personal expression. To really make the most of my creative output abilities, I'm planning to set up a regular schedule for releasing new visuals. With this in place, I'm hoping to deepen and intensify the narrative in ways I haven't been able to before.

All images courtesy of Jingxin Wang.
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