2023 Grad Show

Jiaqi Shi

AUArts Grad Show IMG_3506copy



Jiaqi is a currently Calgary based artist who works across a range of mediums, including photography, performance, sculpture, installation, and printmaking. Her artistic practice centers around the theme of deconstruction and reconstruction, where she redefines the concept of life in nature and gives it a new cognitive system. She also explores the role of women in different cultures and environments, taking a female perspective in her works. Jiaqi’s work often touching on people's fragility but then reassembling it in a fresh way. She aims to provoke thought and discussion about the human experience and the relationship between nature, culture, and society. Jiaqi's art is a reflection of her personal experiences and observations, as well as her exploration of the world around her.

Yes, A Loaf

The choice of bread as the medium in this installation adds another layer of significance. Each type of bread, with its distinct shape, texture, and flavor, symbolizes the diversity of human existence, while the binding ropes highlight the interconnectedness that underlies our individuality. By using the rope as an extension of the hand, I am able to transmit certain emotions to the viewer. Bondage is an exchange of power. However, as with all power dynamics, there is always the risk of abuse and exploitation. The tension created by the ropes emphasizes the delicate balance between control and release, as well as the inherent beauty found within vulnerability and trust.

Emotional Garbage

In a world overwhelmed by emotions, where the weight of human experiences often goes unnoticed, "Emotional Garbage" emerges as a poignant exploration of our inner struggles and the collective burden we carry. The artworks are created using daily materials, repurposed objects, and discarded elements, symbolizing the neglected emotional experiences that often go unnoticed or are discarded in our fast-paced, modern lives. It challenges conventional notions of beauty and perfection. It unveils the discarded fragments of our emotional journeys, exposing the profound impact they have on our lives.

His 108 Self Description

I explore the depths of human connection and self-perception through the intimate medium of film. This project seeks to capture the essence of individuals by engaging in in-depth conversations with strangers or familiar acquaintances, while documenting their expressions and motions using a film camera mounted on a tripod. These conversations unfold in environments where the interviewees feel most familiar and at ease, allowing for a genuine exploration of their inner worlds. Each interviewee becomes an active participant in the creation of their own self-description.

I Love You So

This performance aims to explore the concept of “care" and its relationship with the natural world. I have chosen a tree as my subject and used several sanding tools to smooth out a small area of its bark (skin). I I caress, embrace, and smell its scent the tree, closely paying attention to its textures, patterns, and aroma. As the performance progresses, I begin to experience a series of bodily and emotional sensations. Initially, I feel calm, as I continue to polish the tree, I start to feel the physical fatigue brought about by repetitive motion. After over an hour of polishing, a small red mark appears in the polished area, and I begin to question the purpose and meaning of my actions. It is like a newly opened wound, a warning to me.

Sixty-Six Sesame Seeds

Photography is a language that transcends time and space. Jiaqi's photographic journey began with her first film camera at the age of seventeen. From then on, she started to capture those moments that could be overwhelmed by the passing of time, as well as those sceneries that may escape eyes without any signs.
This photobook is a celebration of life. She toys with every molecule in the air, probing the cycle and fragility of life. Her perspective switches back and forth between macro and micro, composing sixty-six sesame seeds in her life. The sincere and intimate images she captures, as a visual language, endow these seemingly small moments with significant weight and meaning.


Creative Director: Jiaqi Shi
Model: Morgan Metzger, Jeri Meena Vicente, Yamen Abayomi, Sheila Addiscott
Photography: Jiaqi Shi
Styling: Jiaqi Shi
Make-up: Yu Chen
Hair: Rebecca
Assistant: Ya Wen, Christina Yao

This site may contain artworks with provocative content that some viewers may find uncomfortable or upsetting. AUArts supports a culture of non-censorship and ongoing conversations about contemporary art.