Tag Archives: Phd

Jialu Wang: communicating through art

Jialu Wang had a unique relationship with her grandfather who was deaf and mute. When she was a child, they would communicate with each other by painting. As Jialu puts it, it was a “secret language” between them and a way for them to bond. Focusing on traditional Chinese ink painting with him, Jialu fell in love with art during that time.

Jialu and language

However, due to pressure and stress from exams during high school, Jialu chose to pursue English over art. She eventually ended up leaving her birthplace, Harbin, China, to study at the University of Nottingham in Ningbo. Having studied English at an International University, Jialu ventured out to Europe where she began her search for her true passion. After completing her BA at Nottingham University and a masters at University College London, Jialu found her perfect Ph.D. course at Heidelberg University, studying East Asian Art History. She naturally felt attached and could relate on a personal level due to her Chinese and international background.

images by PILOTENKUECHE or supplied by Jialu

It was in Heidelberg that she re-approached painting. Driven by a sense of loneliness and alienation, Jialu used art as a medium to explore herself internally. She uses this therapeutic technique to detect her honest feelings. It’s her private, most inner space. Essentially, it’s how she communicates with herself. Therefore, she does not consider herself an artist, instead, curation is the ideal balance for her.

Establishing Connections

Her key qualities as a curator are the technical skills, research skills, and critical thinking skills which she obtained on her academic career path. Having mainly studied the theoretical side of art, art history, and curation, Jialu is ready to put her 8 years of knowledge and study to the test. She wants to experience real interactions and connect with the art world. Valuing experience, she is ready to do the practical work and learn.

“The good thing is, art is alive. It’s not just the history of art.”

She doesn’t just study the past but knows how to put humanity into her work. She knows one must be sensitive to the historical and political part of art. Gender topics, sexuality, diaspora, and mental illness, are all subjects she has studied, allowing her to grow a deeper and stronger relationship with herself. Having a career in art won’t mean abandoning those aspects of herself. Having that connection, her field of study and her technical skills has taught her to not be afraid of a new opportunity. She is confident and knows how to direct her own path in life, which is what she will bring as a curator at PILOTENKUECHE.

 written by Polina Rybaltchenko

Keep up with Jialu on her website.

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