NGJ Summer Exhibition: Esther Chin

Esther Chin

Esther Chin - Ribbons for Ma.jpg

Esther Chin – Ribbons for Ma

‘My art is the truth of my soul through which I speak’

A meticulous individual, a native of the lush and scenic parish of St Mary, Jamaica. During my formative years of life my passion for art was encouraged by my family and friends. My gram-ma and mother encouraged me to draw and express myself, allowing me to use the interior and exterior of our home as a canvas. I am a graduate of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. At present I am a facilitator of one’s artistic growth, seeking to encourage one’s development through art.  My inspiration comes from my love for the environment; its flora and fauna, social issues, my cultural identity and personal experiences. The urge to experiment with various materials also fosters my innate decision to create /make images.

To speak my truth. 

This tapestry is a bereavement of my mother as a sculptural embodiment of shock, denial, pain and guilt, anger, bargaining, depression, reflection and loneliness.

An upward turn, reconstructing and working through the pain of loss, accepting and hope is shown in this complex and beautiful artwork. 

The scale is a representation of my maternal parent’s importance, while the soft sculpture itself is one of strength, fragility and vulnerability.

Instagram: @estherchin8700

Natural Histories: Esther Chin, Yisitie

Esther Chin is a recent graduate of the School of Visual Arts, Edna Manley College. Her work “Yisitie” was part of her final year show and was subsequently shown in the 2012 National Biennial. It is one of the works that inspired the Natural Histories exhibition, in which it was reinstalled in a new, more fluid configuration.

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Esther Chin’s Yisitie though apparently simple, has a number of possible readings. In her artist statement, she describes her use of petals in the work as “part of a post modern language which helps to develop different visual claims.” Such claims may reference the Pattern and Decoration movement of the 1960’s which sought to challenge Western art history’s masculinist and culturally prejudiced distinction between craft and fine art (among other things).

The work also seems to be an exploration of the artist’s Chinese-Jamaican heritage. This is most strongly indexed in the work’s title which is the Pinyin translation of her name, Esther. The fact that the petals are from the bougainvillea flower is also significant. The plant is endemic to Jamaica and known for its beauty and hardiness, particularly in times of drought. It is also significant in China where it is the official flower of a number of cities in the Guangdong Province (the part of China where many Chinese Jamaican families originate).