Artist Jiawei Fu: Finding the mutual language between communities

Interior Designer and Painter Jiawei Fu

Who is Jiawei Fu?

Interior Designer and Painter Jiawei Fu, born in Guangzhou, China and now living in Los Angeles, is a creative of many trades. Jiawei’s exploration of storytelling through the relationship between human and non-human has been recognized by many medias and galleries and her work is currently displaying online by ArtshowInternational.
I caught up with Jiawei Fu last month in light of the release of her new acrylic series “Aftermath”, she prepared during the never-ending lockdown!

Jiawei Fu, welcome to CreativInn! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your artistic universe.

I’m a Los Angeles based Interior Designer and Painter, received my BFA from Pratt Institute, NY. I believe that community cannot be formed without communication, that’s why I always seeking a better way to help individuals understand each other. Find their commonalities through their lives and translate it onto canvas and paints. All small details matter.

I dedicate most of my work to finding the mutual language between different communities, through a diaristic expression of mundane daily life, a focus on details and special moments, and collisions with egg yolk to create a unique scenario. Each piece has a special story behind it, every story is reflecting on current situations, eventually becoming the reflection of oneself.

Quarantine series

Were you always interested in art growing up? What motivated you to become an artist and what has been the most touching moment you’ve experienced as a designer and a painter?

Rather than art itself, the idea of “communication between different individuals” is always my interest till now. It also became the motivation that led me into the art & design world. I found myself having the urge and curiosity to understand one’s story and trying to use different “languages” to express that story out to the world. As I always try to find common emotion between different communities through painting special moments. One of the most touching moments that I’ve experienced as a painter & designer is when people come up to me actually and say they find themselves in the scene that I created. They have resonance toward those moments. And these feelings gave them a topic to talk to others about.

Tell us about your artistic process and the way you brainstorm ideas? What do you usually start with when creating?

I collect my ideas 24 hours a day. Whenever I hear something or see something that makes me feel intrigued, I will sketch it down on my phone or notebook. For some specific topic, I will talk to people that are involved in the subject matter, trying to learn what their feelings and thoughts are, and what they are trying to say. I want to put myself into their perspective before I tell their story. The sensation and small details are important before a work is being composed.

What role do you want to have in society as an Artist?

As an artist in nowadays society, the most important thing to me is letting people find themselves back in my work, because most people including myself are lost in such a blundering world; we lost direction and forgot things that we care about.

Therefore, I want to use simple/everyday moments to raise people’s resonance between each other. Let people start a brand new conversation within themselves and others. This is a new way to link people together through storytelling. I produced the most ordinary scene of one’s life because every one of us are simple at first, and it will be easier to find our true self in a clean mind. A way to rebind people by expressing oneself.

The Covid pandemic has been a very hard period for most of us, but great art will be made from this time, about this time, inspired by this time. What are the feelings you are trying to convey or expect people to have when interacting with your series “quarantine” and “aftermath”?

Before the pandemic, I found people were living their life in a rush. Always trying to complete and compete with something. Everyone is on their way to become important and special, yet they start to ignore the significant things in their lives.

The series “Quarantine” and “Aftermath” are both focusing on small moments in one’s life. When people are facing desperation, that’s the moment that they start to realize themselves. The series is trying to put such a realization on the table, to encourage people to create “joy” from such a situation.

The series “Quarantine” is trying to let people see their numbness in life. Using Non-human to represent humans, also brings back the emotion of human beings. Each scenario has a small story that goes with it, usually a small realization or small confession from an emotionless person. The series uses “questions” to wake up people who are drowning in society.

The series “Aftermath” is a continuation series after “Quarantine”. It depicts 24 special moments in everyday life. Tring to lead people to pay more attention to things that are happening around them, raise their appreciation and protection for what they have. Trying to use dreamy colors to make every moment more attractive and unforgettable. In this series, I encourage viewers to interact with each scene, and start to collect their 24 moments in their aftermath. They can post out or share with family & friends. Also, a way to rebuild the communication between individuals.

There are many descriptions of the ideal state of mind for being creative. What is it like for you?

I think creativity is not something that I can force it out on myself. It is something that exists in everyone’s life. To myself, my creativity is inspired by my life and lives that are surrounding me. Everything and everyone have contributed to my creative mind since all things that I create is a dedication to communities. I also understand a creative mind is the fully understanding of oneself, and the ability to reflect from it.

The relationship between design and other forms of art – such as painting, video art, and cinema – has become increasingly important. How do you see this relationship yourself?

Being both interior designer and painter, I found they are intertwining. Both of them are driven by a unique concept to start, and that concept is the story behind people. I try to use the thinking of design on painting, also the thinking of painting on design, it opens my perspective a lot. When I’m designing a certain space, I would like to use some colors to convey the mood first, then trying to find matching materials to express the sample feeling. I like to consider the entire space as the canvas itself, the space needs to support its user as the canvas needs to support its paints. Trying to consider every detail at the same time. Same with painting.

What will be your next project? Do you envisage a follow-up to “Quarantine” and “Aftermath”?

I’m currently working on my next series “Deceitful Lovers”, it is the exploration of lies that exist in every love relationship. If there are 100 types of loves, then there will be 100 types of lies. It just depends on how you perceive it. Inspired by all love stories that I witnessed, I want to use this series to expose some obvious lies in our relationship, but see them from another perspective. So instead of thinking of them as “lies”, I suggest people think of them as “personal fetishes”. A different way of love.

I believe there will be a follow-up to “Quarantine” and “Aftermath” series in the near future. Stay tuned!

Thanks again for the opportunity to interview you for Creativinn! Are there any final thoughts for our readers, in particular for the ones who would like to follow your way?

If anyone would like to know more about the story behind each painting, I would like to invite you guys to follow my Instagram account: @jiawei.fu.thingy. I will start posting the “Aftermath” series and the story behind each moment on it starting from Nov.1st.

Also I would love to learn about your story about your “quarantine life” or your “deceitful love story”, feel free to DM me on Instagram.
Your story might become my next painting 🙂

Don’t miss Jiawei Fu’s exhibitions:

  • CCAN 2021, The Center for Contemporary Art, Abilene, TX, artwork from “Aftermath”
  • Pure Paint, Benicia Art Gallery, Benicia, CA, artwork from “Cat”
  • NYC Art Walk, 108 Franklin St, Brooklyn, NY, artwork from “Quarantine”
  • Open Theme, Las Laguna Art Gallery, Las Laguna, CA, artwork from “Aftermath”
  • Art In The Time of Corona, Dab Art Gallery, CA, artwork from “Aftermath”
  • Online Solo, ArtshowInternational

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