Jia Hao: A Journey in Light and Shadow

Jia Hao: A Journey in Light and Shadow
Photo Credit: Jia Hao

By: Olena Martyniuk

Jia Hao, a dynamic visual artist from Yunnan, China, has been painting the art world with her vibrant strokes of photography and digital imaging. Graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the State University of New York at Albany in 2014, she embarked on an eye-opening global odyssey. This journey, spanning from 2016 to 2019, wasn’t just a travelogue but a canvas of experiences that later transformed into mesmerizing collages and a heartfelt project documenting the ethnic tapestry of her ever-evolving hometown.

The seeds of Jia Hao’s artistic journey were sown under the tutelage of Phyllis Galembo, a renowned fine art photographer. Galembo’s work wasn’t just an inspiration; it was a beacon that guided Jia Hao on her path. Her passion for travel and the ephemeral connections made along the way sparked a realization: the beauty of the familiar is often overshadowed by the allure of the new. This epiphany led her to delve into the heart of her hometown, unearthing stories woven into its fabric.

Jia Hao’s camera lens has captured more than just images; it has encapsulated narratives from various research stints, including studies on leprosy care, minority folk culture in China, and an enriching artist exchange in Zurich, Switzerland. Her snapshots have found homes in exhibitions and publications, speaking volumes of her artistic language.

Among her gallery of creations, a poignant family photo stands out. It tells the tale of her friend Xiao and her grandparents, intertwined with the rise and fall of Southwest China’s rubber industry. This photo is a window into a family’s legacy of dedication, loss, and resilience, marked by the absence of Xiao’s parents, victims of inadequate healthcare. This piece isn’t just a photograph; it’s a time capsule of emotions and an enduring spirit across generations.

Jia Hao: A Journey in Light and Shadow

Photo Credit: Jia Hao

Jia Hao: A Journey in Light and Shadow

Photo Credit: Jia Hao

Jia Hao’s artistic compass now points to a project close to her heart, involving relics left by her late grandfather. These are not mere objects but echoes of a generation that weathered storms of social change. Through his simple yet profound manuscripts, she glimpses a love that transcended the trials of his time.

Jia Hao’s artistry is a blend of past and present, a dance of light and shadow, capturing not just images but the soul of her subjects. Her journey continues, a journey of discovering stories hidden in plain sight, narrating them through the lens of her art.

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