Jingying (Crystal) Zhen
Jingying (Crystal) Zhen, Digital Artist from China. Currently sitting a master’s in Digital Media at the University of Northern Colorado. Master’s in Computer Graphics with Shandong Normal University, China.
My art explores and depicts details of life forms, a unique perspective, based on my love of the unknown, a dream I have followed since childhood, capturing and conveying emotions through visual expression. My work has its foundations in Asian culture, intermingled with a multicultural background; an implosion of color, thought and description.
My first major work in America, "Calligraphy Illustrations" was accepted for exhibition at the 2019 Digital Art Gallery, International Conference, San Francisco and 2019 16th International Conference Computer Graphics, ‘Imaging and Visualization’, Australia. "Personality" won third prize at the 2019 China Competition of Creative Packaging Design. In 2019 I was voted ‘Newly Recognized Artist’ at the 19th Dashi Awards in China, for my work entitled "JiuJiang Package". It is most gratifying to have been acknowledged on two continents.
My artistic style has always been influenced by the ink painting. When I see an irregular effect caused by the ink spreading into the grain of the rice paper, my imagination will associate the image on the paper with the galaxy.
Humans are infinitely small within the universe, but we are also infinitely huge compared to microorganisms. If we try to define a drop of water as a planet, extending the molecular structure of water to infinity, a new world will be discovered and displayed in front of us. For instance, when we use a microscope, the microorganisms in the water can be observed directly after being magnified numerous times, showing their unique configuration characteristics. This is the artistic beauty of science. Studying microbes in water is like exploring a new planet that has never been discovered. My work reflected the invisible energy in water by integrating multiple media such as 2D illustrations, 3D models, and videos.
In my artistic creations, I hope my work's emotions fall between clarity and vagueness. Considering the source of inspiration, I have chosen ink painting to represent these lifeforms. Because the microbes live in water, I used the element "water" as a connection to combine the different individuals. Using a digital airbrush tool to create the effect of diffused water ripples, the edge of the ink illustrations echoed the flow of water. Meanwhile, I also built a transformation between 2D and 3D to clearly represent the structure of these objects. For the video work, one of the videos used ink painting to simulate microorganisms under the microscope, and another one compared the 3D models with real microbes. I magnify and depict the union of microorganisms based on my own understanding of my research. Drawing these normally invisible specs of life as organisms living on a special planet. My artwork integrates all of the individual microbes with a simulation of their natural environment, and the various media provide a range of effects from clarity to vagueness. Also, I want to express human thinking about other life forms, that cannot be seen with the naked eye, like the world I am investigating. This thinking, whether it is human perception of life and the world, or not, is trying to understand the emotions that other unknown lives convey.
1. What inspired you to create this artwork?
As my artist declared, my idea came from ink painting. I observe the world through the water.
2. Where do most of your creative inspiration come from?
My inspiration came from my observation of life. I usually practice some sketches, which helps me think about art.
3. How do you choose new ideas derived from the creative process?
I try to use different media to express my work, they will give me new inspiration. I will also change my original thinking and redefine the work according to the nature of different media.
4. Could you please talk about how you felt about the importance of your research applied to your art when you were creating?
I think it is a new perspective, combining biology and art to express objects, people may can understand microorganisms more clearly.
5. As an artist, what do you most want to tell the viewers?
Hope viewers will get more thinking or discovery from my work. Anyway, just enjoy the artwork!