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Artist Talk: Jocelyn Tsaih

June 1, 2021 Annie Milewski
Jocelyn Tsaih's piece, After The Rain, is the latest addition to The Collision Project's collection, and the first piece to launch the Asian American + Pacific Islander artist series. The Taiwan-born, Shanghai-raised, and Oakland, California-based artist uses amorphous figures to provoke introspection and curiosity. Tsaih's mediums range from digital, paint, and murals, with a style that offers an almost 3D effect that surrounds you when viewing her work as a life-size mural. Read our interview below to learn more about Jocelyn Tsaih. Describe the work that you do. I’m an illustrator and painter and I aim to create work that...

Jocelyn Tsaih‘s piece, After The Rain, is the latest addition to The Collision Project‘s collection, and the first piece to launch the Asian American + Pacific Islander artist series. The Taiwan-born, Shanghai-raised, and Oakland, California-based artist uses amorphous figures to provoke introspection and curiosity. Tsaih’s mediums range from digital, paint, and murals, with a style that offers an almost 3D effect that surrounds you when viewing her work as a life-size mural. Read our interview below to learn more about Jocelyn Tsaih.

  • Describe the work that you do.

I’m an illustrator and painter and I aim to create work that evokes emotion and introspection within the viewer. My style is a combination of abstract and figurative and my work always features a recurring character that’s meant to represent the universal being. Through my work, I try to touch on subjects such as identity, human nature, and the intangible aspects of life. 

  • Describe this art installation.

After The Rain shows figures gathering amongst flowers that have bloomed after the rain. This piece is symbolic of reunion after a long period of isolation. I wanted to mark this moment in time where we’re finally able to reunite with others. It feels like we’re finally entering the light at the end of the tunnel and I want this artwork to serve as a reminder that with darkness there is also lightness and that with vulnerability there is also resiliency.

  • What inspires you as an artist?

I’m inspired by other artists and their art forms! I really admire filmmakers, photographers, and musicians. I am attracted to work that is able to evoke certain moods and emotions without spelling it out. I also find inspiration by being in unfamiliar places, having conversations with strangers, and learning how to navigate different environments.

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

I’m Taiwanese-American and I was raised in Shanghai. I grew up being close to my family and being a part of tight-knit communities. In our culture, I think we really value community and mutual support, though it’s not always expressed directly. I’ve learned that we tend to express love and care through actions rather than words. I feel like this has subconsciously seeped its way into my work and is the reason why I prefer to express emotions and thoughts through visual means.

  • How did you start as an artist?

I studied graphic design at SVA but gradually shifted to illustration after I graduated. I’ve always been interested in storytelling and being able to have a visual voice so I felt like illustration was more aligned with that goal. My interests in storytelling went hand in hand with my interests in drawing, and I started to build a body of work that felt authentic to the subjects I wanted to explore.

  • The past year has been difficult for the AAPI community. What is your recommended call to action in support of the AAPI community?

As an AAPI artist, I think that merely being recognized and being heard in general is a great first step in feeling supported. I appreciate those who take the time to learn more about what our community is going through and those who are able to wiggle out of their comfort zones to create more space for dialogue. I think it’s also important to continue supporting and uplifting AAPI voices, artists, organizations, and community leaders. 


#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.

Cut Fruit Collective is a SF Bay Area grassroots group creating art to support AAPI community care services. Driven by art, community, and a shared love of food, their goals are to support AAPI artists, amplify AAPI activists, invest in vulnerable AAPI communities, and build coalitions across AAPI communities and beyond. They have collaborated with artists on projects to fundraise over $75K+ for Oakland Chinatown and other campaigns.

Learn more about the AAPI community at IC here.

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