Jolene Lai is an professional 37-year-old painter, illustrator and artist who was born and raised in Singapore and currently lives and wokrs in Los Angeles, California. After studying painting at Lasalle-SIA College of the Arts in Singapore, Jolene studied graphic design at UCLA and spent a year working at movie-poster design house, The Refinery Creative, before returning to focus on fine art. Jolene works primarily with oil on canvas or mixed media on water color paper. With bold use of color, shape and intricate detail, she creates images with a seductive aesthetic and subject matter that weaves in emotions of whimsy, melancholy, irony and absurdity.
Beside You is a world of melancholic nostalgia in which a little girl can as easily dissolve into candy as she can laugh amidst a city invasion of monster octopi. Here, a house fills with water as a quiet onlooker observes the descent of the drowned, and a carousel horse bursts through an otherwise ordinary domestic interior. There are no impediments to the possible here; it is a world unhinged from plausibility and law. When we look at Lai’s work in Beside You, we are asked to project, to infer, and to create stories, to draw from the trappings of our own memories. A mirror to our fantasies and subconscious, Lai’s work pulls us into the thick.