19 Sep, 2009

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Interview with Sylvia Ji by Chris Osburn from Juxtapoz magazine :
C.O – What’s behind the title of your solo show, Nectar?

S.J – Women in a sense are each beautiful flowers: fragile, hypnotizing, unique, and some deadly. With this show, I wanted to depart from the Catrina series and explore a more playful and vibrant subject matter, with a hint of sexuality.

C.O – Despite being a native California, there’s an “Old World”/European feel to some of your work. Do have any connection with that part of the world. What kind of reaction are you expecting from viewers at your first show in the UK?

S.J – I’ve always been drawn to classical painting, especially one of my favorites the French neo-classical painter, Ingres. Also Frederick Leighton, Waterhouse, a lot of pre-raphaelites, art nouveau, realism, pretty much the whole of “old-world” art. There’s a lot to learn from the old masters, not to say that modern painters also have their attraction, but for me anything old and historical speaks to me. I just hope that viewers in the UK will like the paintings and will walk away somewhat satisfied.

C.O – Where did your mix of the sacred and mystical with glamour and opulence stem from? Is there a message to be taken from such a juxtaposition?

S.J – I’m a huge admirer of decorative, historical, “old-world” art. There always seems to be a sense of something greater than yourself in the art. I also have a love of fashion and historical costume which is naturally very glamorous and opulent. What I paint is very much a mix of all that, added with the fact that all that is merely a façade and life/death go hand in hand, beauty fades.

C.O – Where would be the ideal setting for your artwork to be shown?

S.J – I’ve been very fortunate in being allowed to show in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, NYC, London. I’d like to expand further, maybe Tokyo or Paris. We shall see…

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