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 is a Taiwanese interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her practice responds to her linguistic and cultural displacement as a first-generation immigrant. Ho 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, LMCC Arts Center at Governors Island, and NARS Foundation. Ho’s work has been exhibited at 18th Street Arts Center in California; NARS Foundation; Deanna Evans Projects; Below Grand Gallery; Pratt Institute in New York (United States); Songshan Cultural and Creative Park in Taipei (Taiwan). Recent awards and fellowships include the Bronx Museum of the Arts AIM Fellowship, the National Culture and Arts Foundation of Taiwan-International Exchange fellowship, Pratt MFA merit award, Graduate Student Education Fund, and Stutzman Family Foundation Fellowship. Ho received her MFA in Sculpture from Pratt Institute.