One Home

*This is the first of three writings investigating how art defines home.  A sense of belonging has no boundary.  It bonds humanity emotionally by securing a sense of purpose and place…

Dream big.
Dream big.

If I had to write a letter to my younger twenty-something self, it would be hard to believe the possibility of the future.  Working hard was reality but to dream big was riddled with an insecurity template.  Today as a forty-two year woman, that doubt has evaporated.  Moving forward is the only option.


On my last visit to China, I was asked to curate and participate in an exhibit at Chimney Art Center in Shanghai.  My first thought was mixed with gratitude and anxiety of the unknown.  Flying back to America, the concept of “home” became a reoccurring theme: What is home?  How does culture and identify influence a sense of space?  Does bias and experience define “home”?


After much deliberation, I invited Chinese artists Yang Dongbai, He Wei, and Yin Jia to participate in the exhibit.  All seasoned practitioners who have dedicated years academically and personally to art.  For this American female artist, my Western perspective defines identity; can the same be said for my Chinese colleagues?


The concept of home defines language, ritual, and memory.  Art provides stability and a refuge in a world of disorientation.  Instinctually, humans search for patterns in new environments throughout history and the present.  Home explores how questioning our responsibility globally can alter behavior.  The goal is to merge Eastern and Western thought where foreign becomes familiar and the unknown becomes a sanctuary.

Jenny E. Balisle meticulously finds order in disorder.  Through investigation and exploration, markers and clues become exposed.  Patterns rise, allowing for narratives to appear in various forms.  A private intention made public surfaces.

Yang Dongbai connects nature and science.  Capturing harmony on top of a navigational tower, his artworks stretch to the sky.  The art serves as a topographical map of new and old territories.  A conversation between old and new friends emerges.

He Wei presents awareness and facts to a viewer.  Memory over time fades and distorts but eventually truth prevails.  Moments and fragments build real and virtual communities.  Wei unearths an honest conviction that travels through time.

Yin Jia finds shelter in precise and deliberate marks.  He records the memory of the homeland.  The sensitive work supports an artistic ecosystem.  The patterns identify and protect reality with a silent wisdom and courage.

Home without walls or boundaries needs no translation.  Art is a shelter and anchor in humanity.  Migration and time reveal this shared history. Jenny E. Balisle, Yang Dongbai, He Wei, and Yin Jia inhabit this space and language.



Jenny E. Balisle细致地在混乱中寻找秩序。通过研究和探索,笔触和风格得以展示。样式出现,以不同形式叙事。个人的意图得以展示。




没有墙或者边界的家不需要翻译。艺术是一个庇护所以及下锚停泊之地。迁移和时间展现了这共同的历史。Jenny E. Balisle, 杨冬白、何伟以及阴佳居住在这个空间和语言中。

May opening at the Shanghai Oil Painting & Sculpture Institute Art Museum.

Sitting on a flight back to China to coordinate the installation of the HOME exhibit, what would be waiting for me?  Time would only tell…

The links: