They are artists: JC Jessie

What is your practice about?

I am keen on scrutinizing a particular “east meets west” concept. Through taking on structure and flow, she seeks to reinterpret  ancient Chinese heritage by deconstructing traditional cultural elements found in Cantonese Opera art, then giving them new life through contemporary yet vivacious expressions in various art forms. Therefore, the variety of media will help explore my ways into creativity.

In and Out (2015) Mixed Media, dimension variable. Photo by DinoPaul Ip
In and Out (2015) Mixed Media, dimension variable. Photo by DinoPaul Ip

What inspires your works?

My inspiration is based on my root researching project about the history of HK Cantonese Opera Costumes Industry, from Post WWII to 1970’s where my granddad had devoted his skills and life into the industry since 1930’s at Guangzhou.  A strong linkage is found between my family ties & this integral part of Chinese culture and history.

Photo by Ringo Tang

Can you tell us about your project Water Sleeves?

It describes the my journey to search for her disconnected family root in 7 years (2009 – 2016). It is created based on the fusion of ‘old’ and ‘new’.  The ‘old’ element is the “Water sleeves”, the ‘new’ element is the latest 3D filming and 3D autostereoscopic (glasses free) technology invented locally in HK.

Water Sleeves (Shuǐxiù 水袖) is an interesting element among all the costumes as it is actively playing a seemingly non-active role on stage to deliver symbolic message throughout the performance.

Water Sleeves as subject matter opens up another visual conversation with the spectators about the areas of human experience in spatial relations, emotional deliverance and aesthetic expression.  Research is the key foundation for my artwork, the opera cultural is  so rich that required many information to back up my ideas.  Then the choice of media, the scale, materials, production details…  are on my list to prepare careful execution. mediation. usually comes in on my jogging/ exercise routines.

This is the first art project in Hong Kong employing the latest 3D filming and 3D autostereoscopic technology with operatic element.  This 7’ video installation is an emotive and poetic performance for spectators to journey with the artist through visual, audio and emotional engagement.

What is the difference between opera art and video?

All colors were reduced too basic black and white which act is a violation of the color rules in opera art.  The contrast between speed, direction, time and color generate another dimension to appreciate the video.

How does art affect you?

To believe in the existence and necessity of art in human, self reflection and awareness always help…..  i always question about my ideas , its affinity, pertinency,denotation…etc.  Is it interesting enough to bring out something new for public to ponder on, or it is fun enough for me during the process of creation?  At the end, the coexistence of art  and human creativity is a kind of truism occurred since long ago.

Photo by Ringo Tang

“I want to create artworks that bring about peace and humanity on earth.”


About JC Jessie

JC’s works:

Favourite book:  Tuesdays with Morrie




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