aaajiao’s Icon series explore the senses and sentiments of artist himself, a person struggling to remain mobile in his identity. The sense of identity dilemma derives from the notion of being a place-based Sinitic speaker, who seeks identity independence from his national origins and his use of language. Further influenced by recent literatures in Sinophone studies, aaajiao presents us a visual thesis about the evolution of his identity and the world he sees. It responds to his personal experience, the socio-political tension specific to Chineseness, and his dual existence on the Internet and in this world.
“I was born on the Internet, I was dead on the Internet, I was reborn on the Internet. I cannot simply hide my identity dilemma with my Internet identity. I record my identity evolution and reveal the hidden part via icons. Icon is also my way of seeing. After I experienced the gradual detachment from my racial and national identity while using the language (Chinese), my nostalgia becomes place-based. It originates in Berlin and in the cyberspace. In the same time, the community of Sinophone that comprises of Continental Colonialism, Settler Colonialism, and [Im]migration emerges before my eyes, which in here, I try to collect these landscapes in a cyberised Ukiyo-e.”
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