Interview: Esther Rou Jiao
Luca Curci talks with Esther Rou Jiao during BODYSPACES, the first appointment of CANVAS ART FAIR 2023, at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space
Rou Jiao is a highly skilled graphic designer with a strong focus on multidisciplinary design, spanning static and motion graphics. Since starting her design career in 2016, she has worked tirelessly to develop her skills and has quickly become a sought-after creative professional in the New York design scene. Her unique blend of creativity, technical expertise, and innovative thinking has allowed her to create stunning visual experiences that stand out in an ever-crowded marketplace. Rou is constantly pushing the boundaries of design, bringing fresh ideas and perspectives to every project she undertakes. With a deep passion for exploring different media and cultures, she is always on the lookout for new ways to expand her talents and create engaging visual stories.
LUCA CURCI – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
ROU JIAO – Back in 2015, I made a life-changing choice to shift away from my major in management studies and venture into the captivating world of graphic design. Before that, drawing had merely been a hobby, one that I had a decent grasp of. Nevertheless, it was while engrossed in the playful world of Lego that I had an epiphany, realizing my true calling lay in becoming a designer. Since embracing this new path, I have been on a perpetual journey of learning and growth. Surprisingly, no single experience or art form has deeply influenced me; instead, I find joy in experimenting with diverse elements in every design I create. This constant drive to challenge myself, pushing beyond my comfort zone, has become an essential aspect of who I am as a designer.
LC – Which subject are you working on?
RJ – I find that I haven’t delved deeply into serious artistic themes, and when I have attempted to explore them, it hasn’t quite resonated with my creative process. Instead, my approach to creating is more on the surface level. I tend to be drawn to new and intriguing visual effects, which I eagerly learn and experiment with. I enjoy blending these visual elements with other disciplines to achieve captivating results, almost like an adept visual effects experimenter. When it comes to profound discussions on serious artistic themes, I have a different approach. Rather than getting lost in the process, I seek answers and aim to understand the underlying concepts. For me, art is an exploration, but I prioritize the final outcome. This practical perspective may set me apart from the romanticism often associated with traditional artists. Nonetheless, I embrace my unique style and continue to find joy in my artistic journey.
LC – What is the role the artist plays in society and contemporary art?
RJ – I see artists’ existence as comparable to the human appendix, wherein the Creator’s creations are not always overtly practical or utilitarian. This aspect may surpass our current civilization’s understanding, leading to the acceptance of certain things as seemingly useless or frivolous. From a utilitarian standpoint, one might attribute certain societal benefits and productivity to art. However, when art is viewed solely through this pragmatic lens, it loses its essence as true art. Art thrives on unapologetic expression, embracing the strange, audacious, and sometimes distorted aspects of creativity. It serves as a direct conduit for an artist’s innermost thoughts and feelings. In essence, art transcends the limitations of mere utility, encompassing the freedom to express oneself authentically. It exists independently of societal norms, unbound by conventional constraints. Through this unfiltered expression, art touches the very core of human emotions and experiences, enriching lives in ways that cannot always be explained or quantified.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
RJ – The internet has become an invaluable resource for me as an artist. Unlike many other artists who seek inspiration in art museums or the great outdoors, my main source of inspiration comes from browsing through others’ works online. With just a computer and an internet connection, I can explore a vast array of artistic creations from all around the world. This virtual gallery of ideas and expressions fuels my creativity and allows me to discover diverse perspectives and styles without leaving my workspace. The accessibility and convenience of the internet have truly transformed the way I find inspiration and continue to evolve as an artist.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
RJ – As I previously mentioned, while I do have a preference for certain visual works, I am hesitant to confine my creativity to any particular form. Instead, my desire is to venture into uncharted territory and explore as many new patterns and styles as I can. Embracing this open-minded approach allows me to continuously evolve as an artist and push the boundaries of my artistic expression. By remaining receptive to new inspirations and techniques, I can enrich my artistic journey and discover unique avenues for my creativity to flourish.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
RJ – The concept of BodySpace is truly captivating, and it immediately brings to mind Picasso’s groundbreaking exploration of form and abstraction.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
RJ – I believe the organization of your event is excellent; everything appears to be well-structured and coordinated.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID Group can represent an opportunity for artists?
RJ – Absolutely! ITSLIQUID Group can indeed present a wonderful opportunity for artists. Being able to showcase your works and ideas on this platform opens up valuable exposure and potential connections with a broader audience. It offers a chance to reach art enthusiasts, professionals, and potential collaborators who can appreciate and support your artistic endeavours. Embracing this opportunity can lead to significant growth and recognition in the art community.