Jess Johnson creates science-fiction-scapes that simultaneously suggest the ancient and the futuristic. These mindscapes are inspired by Johnson’s interest in the ability of belief systems, whether alternative, idiosyncratic or historically sanctioned, to draw followers into believing through the creation of elaborate rituals, god-like entities and complex social orders.
She had said ‘I am very drawn to people with exceptionally unique world views and belief systems. People who by sheer obsession, effort and will are able to manifest their reality into a physical form…’
Her hallucinatory imagery is an evolving exploration of such rituals, figureheads and hierarchies from her own imagined world. Geometric compositions are interrupted by the organic capacities of flesh: faces that morph between animal and anatomical, and figures in the throes of worship or rapture.
Johnson’s installation at Art Basel Hong Kong will include 15 new framed works on paper and one new video animation. The imagery from these works will spill out onto custom designed wallpaper, enveloping the entire booth and geometric tessellating carpet tiles will coat the floor, creating a sensory encounter for viewers and a unique visual experience.
Created using a mixture of pen, fibre tipped markers, gouache, metallic paint and collage her works on paper are meticulously drawn by hand over extended periods. The larger drawings will be framed in hand-crafted stepped wooden frames which act as portals into each respective scene, from which it seems there is an entrance but no exit.
Her animation will extend the narrative within her recent video piece ‘Mnemonic Pulse’ 2014 and her current virtual reality project ‘Ixian Gate’ 2015.