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Jiamei

Hi, my name is JiaMei (pronounced like Jamaica without the “ca”) and I’m a YI leader at the Whitney. Working at the Whitney has increased my love of art to a level outside of the universe, over the rainbow, and beyond the realm of palpability. I have really learned to appreciate other artists’ art. 

Before I was a YI Artist, I actually thought museums were strange places that only the elderly with spare time went to. I only applied because a friend had encouraged me. However, the Whitney has completely changed my perception of museums from the inside out. I had always thought that museums were places where they slapped a few paintings on the walls and call the mission complete, but I was “megatistically” proven wrong. 

In reality, the museum (and its art) is an extremely encouraging community for learning and experience. Personally, I realized I love looking at other people’s works more than creating my own. I LOVE seeing artists’ works and saying to myself, wow, this artist is weird. . . I never thought that that could be art. Art, to me, is like a miniscule window into one’s cerebral force—kind of like taking a knife, making a slit into someone’s brain and looking into it. Okay, yeah, that is kind of creepy. Now it makes me feel like I’m a psychopath who loves art because it offers me an alternative to running around and cutting up people’s heads. Art is idiosyncratic to every human being in this world because we all think differently. Art is evidence of human existence.

JiaMei practices painting with her feet during a teen life drawing workshop with Whitney Biennial 2012 artist Nicole Eisenman, organized by YI Leaders. Photograph by Berry Stein

JiaMei practices painting with her feet during a teen life drawing workshop with Whitney Biennial 2012 artist Nicole Eisenman, organized by YI Leaders. Photograph by Berry Stein