Jackie Zhang is originally from Xiamen, China. He is a multimedia photographer interested in systemic approaches, which often serve as inspirations for his artistic practice. Using various media, he contemplates how images are conveyed and identified for audiences. Informed by interests in language and technology, Jackie examines how images influence our psycho-states.
A Portrait of Their Memory Through Their Own Eyes
Inspired by the creation of Marcel Duchamp’s, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelor’s, Even and the mixed-media approach of artist Em Rooney, I decided to explore how images are constructed by memory. A Portrait of a Memory consists of two images of a similar moment, told from opposing perspectives. As supposed to providing an indexical photograph for each subject, I elected to convey the portraits of Josh and Nicole through language, color, texture and absence. A photograph was too direct to express the elusiveness of a memory, which is why I favored a fragmented, mixed-media approach to mimic the different layers of how we explain memories ourselves. However, my approach also involved photographic qualities such as frame and size to reinforce the notion of a real image.
Unlike a physical image, which has the capacity to “take in everything” as David Campany suggests, our memories fail to uphold every singular nuance of a moment. We are often privy to the most distinguishing qualities which can be described by our senses. In A Portrait of a Memory, the two distinct images only inform the emotional, and physical environments each person can recollect. Josh and Nicole, in their absence, are arguably more present to one another and the viewer. Regardless of its authenticity, the memory singles out the central qualities of their image. Together, they create the entire portrait of the memory symbolized by the connecting chain.
(LEFT) I HAVE THIS IMAGE OF NICOLE WHICH I’M SURE IS FROM A MEMORY BUT FEELS LIKE A DREAM. SHE’S SITTING ON A FIELD NEXT TO ME. AN ORANGE, WARM GLOW ILLUMINATES BEHIND HER AND SHE’S SMILING AT ME THE ENTIRE TIME. HER BROWN HAIR TRANSFORMED BRIGHT GOLD, INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM THE SUN’S RAYS.
(RIGHT) I HAVE THIS IMAGE OF JOSH THAT I’M NOT SURE IS FROM A DREAM OR A PICTURE I SAW OF HIM SOMEWHERE. OR PERHAPS IT’S A REAL MEMORY. HE’S HOLDING MY HANDS. A WARM BREEZE RUSTLES HIS DARK HAIR AND HE’S LAUGHING ABOUT SOMETHING. HIS JOY SHAMELESSLY FILLS THE CLOUDLESS SKY.