Jun 19, 2018
Jesuuna is a young Chinese-American artist who creates beautiful moving images that highlight raw human emotions. In her works Jesuuna seeks to capture her sitters the way they are, away from stereotypes and showing the body in a de-sexualised context. Working in this way, it is possible to notice that her photographs go beyond the image itself, conveying feelings and emotions that are difficult to explain but easy to perceive.
am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?
J - Thank you, I am thrilled to be a part of your project. My parents were born in China and moved to San Francisco in the eighties, where I was born. At university, I studied Architecture and then worked a few years in graphic design. A year ago I went to South Korea to pursue art, and now am travelling to continue creating photo works.
am - How did you start in photography?
J - When I was twelve, I stole my mother’s digital point and shoot camera, and began a 365 project by taking a self-portrait everyday for a year (this project was never finished). At the same time, I was learning how to cope with my hearing disability and needed an outlet. Photography allowed me to express myself through creating the fantasies and images I had in my mind. The camera became an extension of me, a vehicle to show others what I feel and see, because I cannot hear fully.
am - What is "Ache" about?
J - When I first landed, I immediately went to Yolanta’s place and stayed with her as she was not in a good place. One morning, I woke up and saw her curled up sleeping on the floor, and was inspired to shoot her in the state of what she was going through. I asked and she obliged, as she hoped to express her experience with depression and anxiety through the intimate photographs. This series is dear to me as it captured the affection I feel for her as a friend, and the trust we have in our relationship.
am - What inspires your work?
J - A certain feeling, accompanied with images and colours, will stay in my mind until I am able to create the piece. I’m often unsure of what the story is or what I want to say, until after the work has come to fruition. These ideas can be inspired by anything, dreams, stories, other people’s experiences or my own past. Studying the subject of the human psyche and reading books always help.
am - How would you describe your visual language?
J - Using bold colours in juxtaposition with the natural environment in order to enhance and highlight raw human emotions. The human body becomes a sculpture, living works of art.
am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?
J - A few artists that come to mind are Marina Abramović, Nobuyoshi Araki, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Franz Erhard Walther.
am - What are your main interests as an artist?
J - There are many themes that are important to explore, including portraying women in a realistic non-stereotypical manner, the de-sexualisation of the human body, photographing taboo topics such as depression or menstruation. An underlying foundation of my work is telling stories intentionally in ways that make people think.
am - What’s your favourite movie?
J - An impossible question! Every film serves a different purpose at a different time. "Synecdoche, New York" is absolutely brilliant. "Eyes Wide Shut" is dramatic and strange. I recently watched "Chungking Express", which immediately inspired me. Wong Kar-Wai’s eye for colours and composition is impeccable, and it’s also especially comforting to be able to understand his films which are mainly in Cantonese.
am - What is your favourite photo book?
J - I’ve actually barely opened any photo books and prefer to see artwork displayed in their most organic form if possible.
am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.
All images © Jesuuna