I call my art “Microsocial Art”. By telling ordinary people's stories in my artworks, I create new insights into the contemporary society we inhabit. For me, art is a tool for social studies. It provides me with the perfect means to explore and witness other lives, and the ideal medium to communicate my critical thinking, which challenges a variety of social issues.
I am fascinated by the question of ‘why people live the way they do?’. I often spend years living within a community or embracing a subculture, along with conducting surveys, reading, and debating with academics. This is a vital part of my thought process – it provides me with both the knowledge and the time to develop strong critical thinking.
The critical thinking behind each project is the most important part of my art. It requires me to experiment with all artistic disciplines in order to best represent my ideas. Therefore I practice a wide range of art forms such as painting, film, installation, performance art etc.
My art is always changing. I enjoy stepping out of my comfort zone and reinventing my methodology constantly. I am not interested in creating perfect works, but instead I delight in producing more vigilant, youthful and stimulating ones.
Aowen Jin is a Chinese-born British artist and social commentator. She was named by The Times as “one of tomorrow's great artists”. Her exhibitions frequently attract critical acclaim in the media, and her artworks have been collected by Her Majesty the Queen, the Horniman Museum, and many other high profile organisations and individuals. She works between China and Britain.
Aowen was eighteen when she left China for Britain, and as the obedient ‘only child’ she initially studied Law and Economics at Durham University. Student life encouraged her to express her individuality and creativity, and it did not take long for her to rediscover her childhood passion for art.
While studying fine art degree at Goldsmith's College, Aowen was offered a number of important commissions. Her work was selected for Her Majesty's Eightieth Birthday and now resides in The Queen's private collection. During her studies she also became the youngest and first foreign art teacher at Holloway Prison, the largest female prison in Europe.
After graduating in 2006, instead of jumping straight into art practice, Aowen chose to take time to contemplate her artistic direction and travelled extensively. She slowly shaped her art career around being both an outsider and an insider in Chinese society. Her unique position offers fresh perspectives on the country's rapidly evolving culture.
Her exhibitions are frequently covered in the press, including BBC Radio 4, The Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Chinese Central Television (CCTV).
With a unique understanding of both Chinese and Western culture, Aowen is regularly an insightful social commentator for current affairs organisations such as the BBC, CCTV and Al Jazeera. She also acts as an investment consultant for banks and corporations, helping them to maximise their cultural potential in China. This has lead her to co-found the creative tech startup Chicmi - an multilingual app which helps shoppers to discover London's best fashion offers.
Helping more people to achieve their dreams, Aowen frequently gives talks and mentoring sessions both in universities such as Oxford University and within organisations such as the South Bank Centre.