Jinny Yu

#CouncilSpotlight – Jinny Yu

Jennifer Clark

Jinny Yu: A Sense of Belonging

Jinny Yu

The Ottawa Arts Council supports artists and arts organizations through leadership, guidance and the provision of opportunities to advance our local creative potential.

Our series #CouncilSpotlight presents stories and experiences of Arts Council members and art award recipients.

Jinny received the Ottawa Arts Council Mid-Career Artist Award in 2013.

Where are you from? Are you from the Ottawa area?

Yes, the short answer is from Ottawa.

How did you get involved in the Ottawa arts community?

When I moved to Ottawa in 2006, I got to know many artists by going to openings and having studio visits.

How would you describe your artistic practice/discipline?

I paint self-portraits.

What impact has your involvement with the arts/the Ottawa arts community had on your life?

I appreciated the support that I have received from the Ottawa arts community on various projects I have done so far, including exhibitions I have held at CUAG and OAG, a solo exhibition I presented during the 56th Venice Biennale, a monograph catalogue published in 2013, and many other projects. I felt well supported and included in the community - a sense of belonging is always a nice feeling.

Is there a specific moment/situation in your art career that you remember fondly?

Two major turning points in my art practice took place in Ottawa, in 2008 and 2015. With a publication of my first monograph catalogue in 2008, I changed the direction of my practice to delve into investigating the materiality and practice of painting and looking at how its meaning parallels my existence in this world. In 2015, I produced the work “Don’t They Ever Stop Migrating?” in Ottawa and presented it in a solo show during the Venice Biennale in Italy. This work moved the direction of my practice to look at my being from a wider perspective.

Do you have any advice for artists in the Ottawa community or artists in general?

Let's get organized to create affordable studio spaces!

Jinny Yu

What are you currently working on?

On paintings that reflect on the plasticity of perspectives, to be presented in solo exhibitions of my new paintings at Art Mur Berlin (Germany) in April 2018, Unit 17 in Vancouver in September 2018, and at Art Mur Montreal in November 2018. A collective I founded "Republic of the Other" is opening the new space of the Gallery 101 in January 2019, as well.

What was it like to receive an award from the Ottawa Arts Council? How did it impact your career?

It was a nice encouragement to keep going.

Want to learn more about Jinny? Visit www.jinnyyu.com or follow her on Facebook and on Twitter.


The Ottawa Arts Council Awards have closed for 2018. The Awards Presentation evening will take place May 29, 2018.

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