Jennifer Chia-Ling Ho 何珈寧
Being a first-generation immigrant, I’m frequently reminded of my identity as a Taiwanese, a foreigner, and a nonnative because of my inability to speak ‘perfect’ English and my ‘foreign’ accent. My multidisciplinary practice responds to my linguistic and cultural displacement. I make text-based sculpture, installation, collage, and sound. Coming from a scientific research background, I often reference linguistic concepts or research findings as the foundation of my work.
In my recent ongoing project ‘How are you?,’ I am using found texts from English as a Second Language (ESL) materials to create sculptures, sound installations, and work on mirror papers. I am interested in the racial, cultural, and social power dynamics that language enacts and identity’s uncertainty and performativity in immigrants and foreigners. I consider the issues of translation, mistranslation, and lost-in-translation. My work, as seen in their abstracted and fragmented form, exists in a state of constantly processing information and searching for connections and belongings.
My method involves extracting, rearranging, and manipulating found texts and media that refer to cultural-specific context or knowledge. I explore how the viewing experience is culturally mediated and changes as presented in different cultural contexts. Using reflective materials such as mirrors or plexiglass, I engage viewers in this reflecting process physically and intellectually. My work examines cultural histories and reconstructs a new interpretation that includes the cultural spaces that may have been overlooked.
Jennifer Chia-Ling Ho (b. 1992, Taipei, Taiwan) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Ho makes found-text-based installations, sculptures, collages, and audios. Her multidisciplinary practice considers the racial, cultural, and social power dynamics that language enacts and identity’s uncertainty and performativity in immigrants and foreigners. Ho has participated in residencies at 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, CA (2021), LMCC Arts Center at Governors Island, New York (2022), and NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, NY (2022). Ho had her first solo exhibition at 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, CA (2021). Selected group exhibitions include: NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, NY (2022); Below Grand Gallery, New York (2020); Pratt Institute, New York (2022, 2020, 2019, 2018). Recent fellowships include: the National Culture and Arts Foundation of Taiwan-International Exchange Fellowship, Taiwan (2021); the Bronx Museum of the Arts AIM Fellowship, Bronx, NY (2022); and Pratt>FORWARD Fellowship, Brooklyn, NY (2022). Ho received her MFA in Sculpture from Pratt Institute.