In his most recent “adventure series”, the works are multi-layered compositions made by collage of partial computer paintings, gestural abstraction and silkscreen. From small sketches and images on computer, Wang Jiajia cut and past, crop and print, then reconfigured on the canvas; a new form of painting made possible in a digital era.
The process begins with a deliberate narrative, constructed through selected and digitally edited background imageries. This order is then distorted with conflicting brush strokes and bright colors directly can-sprayed to penetrate the perfectly flat and manicured surface, hence deforming a mechanical, pixelated imagery into something human and visceral.
Simultaneously, this layering creates an information overload: gestures are noisy and brash, the process itself can become frantic, intense and expressionist. The paintings are born from the artists’ angst and nervousness. A sense of urgent immediacy is articulated through their high impasto technique and vivid colors. Through this technique, the series act as a critique of today’s contemporary condition: the loud onslaught of experience and imagery, and the lust for images and excess of our current digital age.
“Our life is punctuated nonstop by information, you cannot shy away from it, people are glued to screens, images, advertisements, photos, animations gifs all pound away at you everyday. This conspicuousness, it is the new landscape of our modern age. Being born in the city, and moving to various other large metropolises all I know is brick and glass. Buildings that used to be there, suddenly vanish, and huge structures that belonged to science fiction movies took their places, the pace and evolution of a big city is exciting and intoxicating, you are swept up and just go with the tide in this crazy flow and yet there is beauty in it and a certain form of ataraxia can still be found.”
So are the paintings of Wang Jiajia: almost violent on the surface, they actually appear calm and tranquil at its core, and somehow warn against a loss of humanity to the ever-suffocating digital presence. A cautionary tale.