We had the good fortune of connecting with Hailing Liu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hailing, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
My constant passion on artistic expression drives myself to step into artistic career. When I was still very small, I’ve already knew what I was going to do- I saw a horse toy in front of me, and my instant reaction is to find a pen to draw it down. This piece of memory is still very clear in my mind until now! I love observing, thinking and imagining things happening in our society and in our world, and then using artistic and creative way to translate my thinkings and feelings about these things.
I got my undergraduate degree in Art History in China. During that time I finally figured out theory study was not what I most want to do. I want to ‘make’ actual things and ‘create’ something new. There was not many opportunities and resources of art making for an Art History student in the academy, therefore I started to self teach myself in video editing and compositing, which developed my interest in digital media… Two years ago I came to School of the Art Institute of Chicago for a graduate degree, and the study there not just inspires me of art practice, but also inspires me that how my artistic career could look like. It gives me more courages to move forward to developing myself as a professional artist.
I am still in a very beginning stage of my career, and I always believe that art practice is an exciting way to communicate with people, to say something that is hard to be expressed by our language. Starting a career as an artist makes me meet more people that could exchange ideas and communicate with. I think now I see my strong desire to get connected, to communicate by art behind the passion. I always have a lot of things to express, to convey and I hope that I can hear opinions from others.. This really excites and encourages me to keep working!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am most proud of my honesty of listening to my own feelings and then convert them into art! The thing that I am always thinking is the accessibility of my art. During my undergraduate time I was really into self-taught and folk art rather than art produced in an academic context. I started to think about what kind of value of art that I identify with. Not just folk art, there are so many kinds of good art in the world and sometimes I can be quite fascinated in them and get lost in choosing a direction that works for myself. Now I tell myself, just make something that really comes from and represents your self experience. Say things aloud in your own tone.
Now my style of art practice is taking shape. Being confident and firm on my own artistic value, I am also trying to open myself in exploring and experimenting more possibilities in this field, I am curious of lots of things. Trying different mediums, attending exhibitions, looking for collaborative opportunities with some other artists…. It could be overwhelming, but I would just try them first.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would spend a day in Santa Monica, and a day to go for hiking in Griffith Park… I would take them to the Santa Monica Pier to enjoy the roller coaster and ferris wheel, then get a drink and walk all the way to the Venice beach. We probably could stay until the sunset comes out ….Then we will go to downtown to have a great dinner. There are so many mountains and parks for us to enjoy the natural view, and to see rock climbers’ amazing climbing. There would also be a day to visit some of the galleries and museum in LA- like MCA, Hammer Museum, The Getty…
I am not a type of good planner, just let our trip flow!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people that I should appreciate for my life… Teachers from the Art Institute, friends and my family. Their support makes me feel I am the luckiest person in the world. Especially my parents, they really gives me understanding and support of the art life I am pursuing. And also I need to say thanks to my dear dear friend, Jean Chiang, who encouraged me to start my artistic journey in US.
The image credit of work is to myself. Mayte Gomez-Molina, Jiaqi Li, Zhuyan Ye