Opening Reception: April 14, 2022 5- 8 PM
Exhibition on View: April 14 – May 8, 2022 by appointment.
The Fountain of Eudemonia is an exhibition of new work by Jing Qin, the 2021-2022 Phipps Visiting Professor and Artist-in-Residence at the University of Denver’s School of Art and Art History.
Eudemonia, a concept derived from Aristotelian ethics, is the condition of human flourishing or “living well” and refers to the highest form of human good as an end in itself. In this exhibition, Qin explores the concept of eudemonia through a diverse and critical lens. Perusing visual cultures that create symbols or depictions of an idealized life, the artist probes what sort of life counts as doingand living well and what sort of activities enable one to live well.
The imagery that resulted from Qin’s exploration yielded works encoded with blended iconography, utilizing both Eastern and Western symbolism and contemporary and historical frameworks. Although the work is influenced by Chinese history, the facial features, hand gestures, and objects held by figures in her work only vaguely imply a period before the current time. References to the history of painting in the West and movements such as Surrealism, Romanticism, Expressionism, and Mannerism coexist with elements gleaned from our current period’s visual culture found in cartoons, illustration, film, advertising, and the internet. Qin also borrows and elevates imagery from her own life.
In some instances, figures pose with conspicuous intentionality, recalling the calculated poses, product placements, and constructed identities presented on social media. Qin’s careful arrangements of her subjects serves as a metaphor for contemporary corporal experiences. Their stylized and deliberate rendering also alludes to the idealized lifestyles of influencers and social media celebrities, which in Qin’s work present almost as religious figures. Everyday objects like hair scrunchies, Cheetos, and smartphones become symbols embedded with marked significance, depicted with devotional reverence. In both subject and form, Qin’s work alludes to the combination of an ambiguous past and present.
About Jing Qin:
Jing Qin is an artist living and working in Denver, Colorado. She was born and grew up in Henan province, China. She earned her MFA in painting and drawing from the University of Tennessee. Her work has been exhibited with galleries in Philadelphia, New York, Knoxville, and many places in China. Prior to serving as the Phipps Visiting Professor and Artist in residence at DU, Qin was also in the Artist in Residency program at the Vermont Studio Center. The artist’s work was selected for and shown in New American Paintings, No.130. Qin was also the recipient of an Artist Teaching Fellowship from Pratt Institute of Art and Munson-Williams-Protor Fine Arts Center in 2020.
Qin’s works frequently include figures which against backdrops of obscure interiors. While she develops each work instinctively, without knowing the finished result, each painting has a strong sense of narrative. She deliberately build an antagonistic narration by mixing elements from her fantasies with features from a more commonplace, mundane world.
To see more of her work, visit Qin’s website at www.jing-qin.com.