These sugar dummies are what Julia Chiang has used to create these endearing phrases. Over time these kids’ sweets and the messages they spell melt into sticky, colourful streaks, staining the white pristine of the gallery wall. As Chiang explains in an interview,
"I am drawn to things that change and deteriorate over time. I’ve always loved watching things evolve, and I think making work that is left to its own nature has that beautiful element of chance and unknowing. Ephemeral materials reveal a passage of time and instability, and the materials I have used leave a mark so even as they fade or disappear, they are permanently there somehow as well."
I love the idea that these dummies, representative as they are of corrosive colourants, spell a message that over time will leave only a stain, a whisper of the sweet nothings that came before.
As the physical matter of the piece continuously evolves and deteriorates, Chiang highlights the transience of words, the difficulty of communication and the questionable nature of artwork as a fixed gallery object.
Chiang’s work is currently being shown at OHWOW Gallery in Miami as part of the Materialism exhibition.