Rogue Magazine Top Stories A Journey in Light and Shadow

A Journey in Light and Shadow

Visual Artist Jia Hao: A Journey Through Time and Space Captured Through the Lens

Emerging from Yunnan, China, visual artist Jia Hao has been painting the global art scene with vibrant strokes of photography and digital imaging since graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the State University of New York at Albany in 2014. Her extensive travels from 2016 to 2019 were not just a journey across continents but also a deep dive into the cultural tapestry of her ever-evolving hometown.

Under the mentorship of renowned fine art photographer Phyllis Galembo, Jia Hao’s artistic direction found its footing. Galembo’s influence is a thread that runs through Jia Hao’s work, guiding her explorations and inspiring her to uncover the overlooked beauties of familiar places. This awakening led her back to her roots, where she began documenting the intricate stories of her community.

Jia Hao’s lens has captured far more than picturesque landscapes; her work delves into the personal and historical narratives of those around her. From studying the impacts of leprosy care to exploring minority folk culture in China, and participating in an enriching artist exchange in Zurich, Switzerland, her projects reflect a profound commitment to cultural documentation. Her photographs have graced the galleries and pages of prestigious platforms like Artdoc and F-Stop Magazine and have earned her a spot among the top 20 winners of the Lenzburg Photo Festival competition.

One of her most evocative pieces showcases a family portrait that traces the legacy of her friend Xiao and her grandparents, interwoven with the historical and economic shifts prompted by Southwest China’s rubber industry. This poignant photograph highlights the absence of Xiao’s parents, who were casualties of inadequate healthcare, encapsulating themes of dedication, loss, and resilience.

“Tropical Spark,” another significant work in her portfolio, chronicles Xiao’s reflections on the juxtaposition of rural heritage and urban life. It underscores the adaptability and resilience of individuals amid extensive societal change. Jia Hao describes her artistic goal as an endeavor to “capture the essence of change and continuity in the heart of communities,” weaving individual stories into the broader narrative of societal evolution.

Currently, Jia Hao is channeling her artistic inquiry into a project that resonates deeply with her personal history—curating relics left behind by her late grandfather. These items are not merely relics but symbols of a generation’s endurance through tumultuous social changes. Through his manuscripts and personal effects, she explores enduring love and resilience, weaving these threads into her broader artistic narrative.

Jia Hao’s body of work is a testament to her ability to bridge past and present, melding a dance of light and shadow to capture not just images but the very souls of her subjects. Her ongoing journey is a quest to uncover and narrate hidden stories, illuminating them through her artful lens, thus continuing to enrich the visual art world with her distinctive voice and vision.

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