Flower Branches, 2021, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

This week we welcome artist Mija Jung. Jung is a painter living in the Lower East Side of New York City making figurative abstract oil paintings focusing on gender issues.

“My paintings empower me to declare my independence. As an Asian immigrant woman living in America, I feel perceived as an outsider, exotic and diminished. In my work I depict non-binary people in places of many colors and explore how gender roles are defined, in comparison to social norms.

Golden Gasp, 2018, Oil on linen, 24 x 36 inches

I paint what I see in my life: women resisting, raising arms and objects that represent strength, such as swords and dumbbells. I take inspiration from New York and Berlin and the unconventional queer people that I meet. They are liberated and it makes my work more fluid. They are the starting point and I place determined lines and figures by layering images until they climax and suggest completion. My first layer is a moment that I see in society that shows fragility. The last significant shape is a reward, a trophy for those who fight.

Glamour Grandma, 2021, oil on linen, 36 x 48 inches

For example, in “Their Carriage” (2021), she/they have chores and struggles that she is having difficulty solving alone. The yellow lines became determination. In “Glamour Grandma” (2021), whether the figure faces forward or backwards doesn’t matter. Even a grandma should have the flexibility to be independent from gender norms.

Their Carriage, 2021, Oil on linen, 48 x 60 inches

I explore the tension between the abstract and figurative body, the masculine and the feminine, to illustrate symbols of power and vulnerability. It is my outsider and immigrant perspective which allows me to paint this vulnerability in my own way, and it allows me to gain my independence.”

See more of Jung’s work here.

Nitin is a visual designer, gallery artist, and community arts activist. Past desk-oriented posts include: PBS, Digitas, K12, Inc., Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and Sesame Workshop International....

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