27 February 2023–31 March 2023
Solo exhibition by Jingjing Lin
Part of Alserkal Art Week
Leila Heller Gallery is pleased to announce Beijing - and New York - based conceptual artist Jingjing Lin’s solo show ‘Elsewhere’.
Starts 27 February 2023
Ends 31 March 2023
Venue Leila Heller Gallery
During the pandemic, Lin began a new series of multimedia paintings which show men and women gazing out the windows as U.F.O.s make contact with the Earth. These distinctive artworks alternate between the dystopian and the utopian. “Are these aliens here to destroy us or save us?”, the artist seems to ask. This new series of works emerged from Lin’s past two and a half years of thinking about the society and world at large. The pandemic and global happenings forced her to stop and contemplate about the situation we were living in. Through her work, Lin has been examining the effects of technology on the society. During unprecedented times like the pandemic, our real world felt quite unreal. The paradox between the digital and real-life and the overlap between the two, spoke to her.
‘Elsewhere’ is a collection of mixed media artworks on canvas which examines society’s shared displacement from reality, because of the global events, which at times feel surreal. During the pandemic, there was an enhanced collective sense of urban alienation, when windows transformed into a primary portal of connecting to the physical world outside. The large windows in Lin’s works reveal sights of urban and natural landscape, where the imagery feels familiar yet alienated. In this series of mixed media paintings, the solitary figures dressed in futuristic attires looking outside of the window is a metaphor for how the perception shifts when it becomes the primary medium of connection to the outside world. The composition of these near theatrical works is partitioned by black, bold lines, as if the viewer is looking through the window.
The shared experience and the desire to be anywhere other than home, while being confined within a space during the pandemic, inspired the title of this exhibition. ‘Elsewhere’ is what most people seeked to be. The materiality of Lin’s works echoes the paradoxical nature of the images. She edits a photo image and prints it on the canvas, over which she then paints. The addition of stitches to the canvas accentuates this, as a stitch repairs but also creates holes.
In comparison to the conventional negative representations of aliens in popular media and academia, Lin’s use of highly saturated colours and contrast represent conflicting undertones of both optimism and gloom. The artist believes that the constant technological advancement is continually redefining society’s pre-existing notions of reality. By introducing her audience to an alternate universe in which fact and fiction often mimic each other, Lin highlights infinite possibilities in a world without the anchors of reality. Technology acts like a window, to the world beyond, which looks quite dramatic.