The Instagram Project is a constellation of works looking at Instagram images that knowingly or unknowingly participate in the construction and consumption of the Chinese as a spectacle of “the other.” This is a gaze that is often mistaken as the societal reality. Through an analytical and satirical approach and methodology, Jiang takes the images and the words accompanying them out of Instagram and she dissects, alters, and repurposes them to create new meanings within a new dispensation. Quirky Science Questions and Provocative Jokes Deconstructed are two works from a broader project that undoes the underlying ethnocentric value judgments that fuel the popularity of these images on social media.
Quirky Science Questions is a set of unexpected science problems created from images and video clips from Instagram. The reading of the pictures shifts as they are given a new function, liberating them from the original narrow-minded context. The questions are produced in collaboration with Theodora Ntoka, an education researcher. On the other hand, Provocative Jokes Deconstructed focuses on nine of the numerous Instagram “jokes” that are made at the expense of the objectification of real people. The photographs are deconstructed and further broken down into three parts: people, words, and captions. The flicking through jokes, readily to be laughed at, are turned into separate entities demanding viewer attention and thinking. They are called upon to make up their own minds about what is at stake within this world of secret pleasures.
Yuxin Jiang lives and works in London and Shanghai and holds an MA in Photographic Studies from the University of Westminster. She is an artist striving to challenge the thinking around intersectional identity issues by analyzing cultural forms, such as language, image culture, and her own experience of becoming a global citizen. Her artistic practice has recently begun to shift towards one that is collaborative and functional, with an increased interest in situating her work beyond the artistic context. Recent projects include Part of Syllabus (2019/2020), a UK-wide artist development program, Chinese edition translator of Photography: The Key Concepts; exhibition- based work Five Events, and Some Observations on Identity, which also won the Lianzhou Foto Festival Jury Prize of 2018 and was a finalist for the Jimei x Arles Discovery Award of 2017.