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Artist Talk: Jia Sung

July 9, 2021 Annie Milewski
Jia Sung's piece, Sun and Moon, is the latest addition to The Collision Project, featured in Courtyard 1/2. Jia Sung is an artist and educator, born in Minnesota, bred in Singapore, now based in Brooklyn, and received a BFA from RISD in 2015. Sun and Moon depicts two goddesses from Chinese mythology, flanking the courtyard door.  Describe the work that you do. I am an artist and educator. As a queer Chinese woman born in Minnesota and raised in Singapore, questions of identity and belonging are central in my practice. My work spans paintings, zines & artist books, poetry, and...

Jia Sung‘s piece, Sun and Moon, is the latest addition to The Collision Project, featured in Courtyard 1/2. Jia Sung is an artist and educator, born in Minnesota, bred in Singapore, now based in Brooklyn, and received a BFA from RISD in 2015. Sun and Moon depicts two goddesses from Chinese mythology, flanking the courtyard door. 

  • Describe the work that you do.

I am an artist and educator. As a queer Chinese woman born in Minnesota and raised in Singapore, questions of identity and belonging are central in my practice. My work spans paintings, zines & artist books, poetry, and tapestries, and draws on motifs from Chinese mythology, Buddhist iconography, and the familiar visual language of folklore to examine and subvert the archive through a queer feminist lens.  

  • Describe this art installation.

Sun and Moon depicts two goddesses from Chinese mythology, flanking the courtyard door. The lunar deity Chang’E floats on the left with her companion rabbit, while solar goddess Xihe sits on the right with her ten sun-crow children. The paired murals reimagine protective door guardian imagery through the lens of the divine feminine.

  • What inspires you as an artist?

Books have always been my first love — as a shy and anxious child, reading opened portals of possibility into different ways of being, a safe space to participate in world-building. I try to carry that feeling into all my work. Immersive, invitational, and legible even if you aren’t familiar with the specific references I am pulling from.

  • How has your heritage shaped the person you are today?

The Chinese folklore and mythology I grew up seeing in books and in the campy TV serials of the ’90s/’00s have shaped so much of the visual language of my work. I’m interested in how our inherited stories give us a mirror to see and identify ourselves, and how reinventing the canon can make space for those of marginalized and othered identities to find meaning and belonging within tradition.


#StopAAPIHate: Support AAPI Non-Profits


Industry City is proud to support the AAPI non-profit organization selected by the artist and we stand against violence and injustice of any kind.

Founded at the onset of COVID-19, Heart of Dinner works to fight food insecurity and isolation experienced by Asian American seniors—two long-standing community issues heightened by the pandemic. They now serve 1,500+ elders in Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, delivering weekly hot lunches, fresh produce, and bulk ingredients while supporting local small businesses during their COVID-related recovery process.

Jia Sung will be hosting a donation-based raffle of her original artwork to raise funding for Heart of Dinner. All proceeds from the raffle will be donated to the organization and Industry City will be matching the donation up to $2,500. Learn more about the initiative here.

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