Interview with JOLENE LAI:
Your childhood ambition:
Fly. I would sprint really fast through zigzagging crowds of people on the streets without a collision. I had believed that the process, if done swiftly, would somehow lead to levitation, and if and when it happened, flapping my arms vigorously would allow me to take off. I guess I wasn’t fast enough.
Something you treasure:
My dreams. Some of them have such rich and contrasting colors that continue to linger in my waking hours. Or the otherworldly characters whom I encounter that are equally sinister and enigmatic. I think essences of my dreams subconsciously appear in my paintings, resulting in psychedelic color palettes and peculiar subjects.
Your worst habit:
Fruit Loops. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Had quit the addiction, and then my friend Aaron Geman had to come up with a new and ingenious approach to eat this cereal. So, looping myself back into these sinful fruity circles.
The aspect of your work that’s most important to you:
The narrative part of it. It’s always challenging to weave and fuse somber and whimsy as a pair, with an added tinge of provocative into the storyline, and still managing to not churn out gore.
Your first job:
Waitressing at a restaurant that specialized in ribs. My colleagues and I had a great time concocting a special tartar sauce for a very nasty and rude customer. Be nice to your servers.
Someone whose work you highly recommend:
Eugenio Recuenco—photographer. Breathtakingly spellbinding, and where nightmares come to life.
See more of Jolene Lai’s work here.