Jolene Lai returns to Thinkspace Projects with a new collection of eerie paintings. The aptly named “The Beautiful Haunting,” starting on Sept. 14, brings her sensibility, seemingly informed by pop mediums and children’s stories to the gallery walls. The painter has a rare ability to evoke the same sense of mystery and danger in settings absent of human occupants. Lai was last featured on our website here.
“I want to construct a plane where what is relatable and comforting to us, comes to merge with emotions of unfamiliarity and unsettlement,” she says. “The collection largely draws influences from popular film culture and children fiction books that I have grown up watching, reading and have come to love. Naming a few that I have referenced are films such as Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, the original TV series The Twilight Zone and novels like Adventures of the Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton. I particularly wanted to focus on extracting interesting key characters and elements from each story that many have come to recognize as household names, and challenge myself to reiterate them by misplacing them in urban landscapes and comfortable nooks that I have handpicked from actual documentations of my explorations of the neighborhoods I have visited.”