Student Artist Spotlight: Juju Qiu

“The value of art exists in its meaning rather than the techniques presented.”

Juju Qiu ’21 is a visual artist with a passion for the environment. We asked her a few questions to learn more about her style and her work.

Could you tell us a little bit about your process?
The most essential part of my process of creating art is to think through why I’m creating it and what could be expressed through my work. Compared to the unique core idea behind a piece, skills are things that everyone can develop through practice and in time. The value of art exists in its meaning rather than the techniques presented.

What do you do when encountering challenges during the creative process?
When I find myself stuck during the composition of my paintings, I often seek help from my parents [who are artists] or reference famous artists.

How would you describe your style?
Awkward and traditional. By awkward I mean the stiffness of the figures drawn in my pieces. There is this unharmonious feeling between the objects in the image, which forms part of my style. By traditional, I’m referring to my work that uses the sketching techniques of ancient Chinese paintings. Most of these works are done with calligraphy brushes, Chinese art paper, and minerals pigments, which require processes of trituration and mixing with water.

What inspires you and why? 
Things from my life, like literature, the news, pictures I browse and save online, games I play, communications between my friends, etc. My interest in animals is something that came to me when I was young. I liked horseback riding and always wanted to own a pet when I was around 3 or 4 years old. Over the past few years, social media has made available more information about the ongoing issues involving endangered animal protection and issues of governance (particularly for forest and animal protections) in China. This motivates me to focus on animals and their relationship with humans.

How has your style evolved during your time at Miss Hall’s?
My style has evolved tremendously since last year. At Miss Hall’s, the freedom, time, extent of available material, and inspiration from people around me has sculpted my style greatly. The topics I’m focusing on now are much more serious and consistent. I’d say the art I created in the past was more disconnected.