Jiab is a contemporary figurative artist. Her work is concerned with identity, and the revelations that can be revealed through rigorous observation.
Identity is at the heart of every person. As it manifests as a persona it becomes - defined by the history of our own five basic senses. Our identity is dictated to us from the moment we are born. But as we grow up, identity is what we actually ‘choose’ to be . Jiab is interested in those small details, and is keen to document within her paintings the individual identities of the people she meets, the places she lives and the souvenirs of moments in time.
Jiab was born in Nakhon Phanom, a small town in north-east, Thailand. After a quiet childhood she moved to Bangkok to study Filmography at Thammasat University. After graduating from a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism she worked for 3 years as a Casting Coordinator at Big Blue Production. It was there that she practiced her skills of finding talent for various advertising campaigns. Observing people and seeking for the right moment of expression was her expertise. It is those experiences that exert a great influence on her works until today.
After moving to London in 2007 she was so inspired by David Hockney’s exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery that she decided to start her career as a self-taught artist in the field of contemporary portrait painting.
While developing her art, she moved to Berlin and in 2009 she started her own brand ‘JIAB’ designing fashionable products based on her own artwork. It was in Berlin that she met some of her models and artist friends that have influenced her works greatly and redirected her back to her own identity as an Asian artist living outside of her home country.
In 2020, Jiab won the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, London. She now lives and works in Vannes, France where she continues to explore and develop her artwork focusing on questioning the boundaries between her human experiences, the Asian identity and her own identity.
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(Photograph by Guillaume Bouzige