Jiayi Lu specialises in drawing as an expression of the inner state of the spirit; that is, it is a powerful expression of hidden or pent-up emotions. With its nuances of colour, line and shape, drawing can translate an emotionally complicated experience in ways where languages and words fail effectively.
Drawing on her personal experience, Jiayi’s practice centres around the interpersonal and human-nature relationship. The experience with learning semiotics has driven her to explore the relationship between signs and emotions. Inspired by Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure’ s (1916) semiotic theory, Jiayi created a sculpture installation using plants and balloons as non-linguistic signs for expressing different types of emotions. For example, Jiayi used thorns to signify anxiety and heart-shaped balloons to represent the overall inner state. In addition to the generated artworks that capture her psychological states, the process itself also offers a cathartic release of those emotions by giving each of them a physical shape, removing the anguish involved when trying to keep the emotions hidden.