Zijing Xia, born in 1997, developed a fondness for drawing from a young age, but was unable to gain admission to an art academy in China. She ended up somewhat inadvertently entering the field of English Literature and was diagnosed with ADHD during her sophomore year. This diagnosis provided her with a perfect excuse to let go of the torment of extensive reading and embrace her love for visual art. Now she is on her way to be a happy artist. She also works under the pseudonym of ‘Bagegoo’.
My practice explores non-human centered trivialities. It aims to soften weary hearts and bring people back to the time they talked to dogs.
My artistic journey begins with digital 2D drawings, inspired by vague sadness, nonlinear thoughts and park walking. These drawings develop into multimedia works and performances through a process of confusion, experimentation, cooking and singing.
The subjects of my practice are mainly plants and animals. I see them as an intermediate state between the material and the spiritual, an entrance from reality into a fairy tale. When we are more with them we are more with ourselves, and you know, this is the start to solving our problems.
In my home, there hangs a set of empty photo frames on the wall devoid of any pictures. About four or five years ago, my dad and I purchased these frames from IKEA and hung them up, but for all those years we never got around to filling them with photos. Even the protective plastic film remained intact until just before I left to study abroad for my postgraduate degree.
To me, this empty photo wall serves as a stark representation of our family's hectic lifestyle. Both of my parents are workaholics, always burdened with anxiety, be it voluntarily or involuntarily. For as long as I can remember, our family rarely had moments of leisure or enjoyment. It always felt like we were in a perpetual state of waiting - waiting for me to pass middle school, waiting for me to get into university, or perhaps waiting for that elusive moment when they would feel they've ‘earned enough money’, and only then would we truly start living.
It wasn't until recently that I realised life had already begun and I didn't have to wait with them.
I approached the grammar of sequential art and created this non-linear comic in response to the empty photo wall at home. It depicts a simple morning that I kept wanting but kept missing. Sitting down with my childhood self, we decided there is no need to seek distant horizons, but to discover the possible landscapes here.