Having dinner was the only time I talked face-to-face with my mother when we lived together. When I saw my face through the mirror on the table while living in the UK, it was like my mother’s face and mine gradually overlapped. I had longed for a world far away but gradually forgot what my mother looked like. I am an essential part of her life, but I have never truly delved into her past. I began looking for her, embracing our memories. Has she been in my life? And how did I come to know her across time?
When we look into each other’s eyes, 2023. The installation is divided into three parts: the wooden box represents the hidden past of my mother’s life; the bicycle represents my mother’s gaze looking only at me; and the dining table embodies the period of my life with my mother when I sat on one side of the table and gazed at the missing female figure across from me.
The viewer who enters the scene experiences the identity of mother and child as a fourth perspective, completing the work. I want the audience to feel the emotion of losing themselves when they become mothers. To be aware of the changes that motherhood brings to a woman. The work also hopes to inspire women who have become mothers to regain the ability to pursue their own lives.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Jiaqi Li is a Chinese artist based in London. She studied digital media art at the Tianjin Academy of Fine Art and the University of Hertfordshire and now continuing her research in the UCL MA Situated Practice Programme. The main inspiration for her work originated from human emotions, which fully reflected social issues. She is eager to make the voices of the marginalized who have long been ignored and bring them to the audience’s attention. “Technology is the bridge to convey emotion on my behalf rather than the key to my creation. Innovation is not a way for me to gain accolades but to make our environment less unfair, less hurtful, and less hostile toward others, but more tolerant and understanding.”
© Jessie Lijiaqi