Hua Jin
Don’t Look You Will See
June 22 – July 29, 2016

“you must look, and look, and look… until you are blind with looking.  And out of that blindness comes illumination.”1

Hua Jin, Don’t Look You Will See – Birds, 2015, inkjet print, 71.3 x 53.5 inches, edition of 5

 

Jin’s work is deeply rooted in her personal experiences.  Through photography, video, and installation, Jin explores loss, trauma, and fundamental questions surrounding life and death.  She is interested in a world-view that embraces transience; of time, materiality, and the ultimate emptiness that awaits.  Having experiences that radically altered her perspective and comfort in life, Jin found solace behind the camera.  She began to interpret the world through a filter, the camera lens.  This arrangement allowed the artist to see and feel her surroundings in a way she never had before, with serenity.

That same calmness can be seen in Don’t Look, You Will See.  These large-scale landscapes seduce you with their exquisite detail and envelop you with peaceful tranquility.  The works are an exploration in visual meditation.  Through her studies of Buddhism, Jin sees parallels in her life and work.  The connection is undeniable.  The Buddhist principle of ‘bare’ or ‘naked attention’ is the stripping of previous experience, emotional involvement, and subjective judgment while observing.  There is a disconnect between the act of looking in combination with mental capacity (knowledge and emotion), an act Jin describes as the gap between the physical eyes and the mental eyes.  Paying attention too closely to only the physical or the emotional will inevitably lead to an incomplete experience.

Jin is a visual artist currently based in Montreal.  Originally from China, Jin recently completed her MFA in Photography at Concordia University.  Jin’s work has been exhibited Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, Beijing, and Shanghai.  She is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2012 Emerging Artist Award for the Vancouver Mayor’s Art Awards for Visual Arts, the TOP20 Chinese Contemporary Photographer Award, and the Canon Photography Award for her work featured in the 2012 Emily Carr University of Art and Design Graduate Exhibition where she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography.

1. Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art, Nowhere from Here, Jacqueline Baas.