Debuting on Steve Bicknell’s 6dimensions label last year, Berlin-based Taiwanese artist Jing has been turning her stories into audio performances with a conceptual mystery project trilogy. The first in the series, ‘Adularescene’ focused on moonstones, the effect of light and the optical phenomenon whilst the latest second edition ‘Diffraction’ (released late last year) tells the story from the perspective of the moon and how it views the world we live in. With writing a part of who she is, her audio interpretations are filled with emotion and sometimes tense, cinematic elements. A creative in the truest sense, Jing draws from cult film and fiction influences to help inform her dizzying array of stories including short fiction and poems. Alongside this project, Jing formed an electronic dream pop band ‘Polygothica’ with close friend Dilijana when she first moved to Berlin and is part of the performance collective UNDO. Noting herself as an electronic live performer rather than DJ, Jing has gone on to perform at the likes of Fusion and Nacht Digital. We caught up with the alluring artist to discuss her transition into music production, the scene in Taiwan, how she translates her stories into productions and what her favourite subjects are to write about.
You studied graphic printing, what drew you to music production? What are some of your earlier experiences with music?
I choose graphic printing because I wasn’t sure what it was. Music production has always been a metaphor in my head, speaking to me in any form, so close to me but unfamiliar. Ended up producing music somehow which makes my life more understandable to myself. Early experience in music was Asian pop and went to a cult church singing, left the cult and heading to the punk bar, and then club.
What was it about living in Taiwan that was stopping you from exploring your full creative potential within music?
The city is very small, the circle is very small. I want to expand my vision and learn more not just from the island. I didn’t expect to be producing music before I moved to Berlin though.
Do you tend to keep an eye on the scene in Taiwan and artists coming out of it? If so, anyone you would recommend for us to check out?
My eyes are always on the Taiwanese artists. “Forests” is an amazing band, I witness the transformation of them, never fail in sound; Scattered Purgatory is a cinematic creepy dronish band, I have always feeling excitement for any new production from them; Lujiachi is the other half from “Scattered Purgatory”, he always has interesting composition in groove; Andy Chiu is a new rising DJ who is now part of Smoke Machine; SEN is a post-punk band really blows my mind away.
Now living in Berlin, why did you choose this city and how does it feed your creativity?
I still don’t know why I chose Berlin, I guess when the day comes for me to figure that out I won’t be here. Creativity wise, I think winter is really cold for my tropical body, I spend a lot of time staying inside to imagine.
You also formed an electronic dream pop band Polygothica and part of the performance collective UNDO – how do you differentiate between each project?
Polygothica was my first band, I had a good match in shoes-gaze music with my friend Dilijana, it was really fun. UNDO was an atmosphere approach project, sometimes only improvisation.
‘Diffraction’ is from the perspective of the moon and how it views the world we live in – what inspired this concept?
Human minds tend to believe what other people believe in, by guessing, We keep on guessing the problem to solve, wrong answers by asking the wrong questions. To be honest, I am a hollow moon believer, this is the human zoo and moon residents exist for it.
How did you put yourself in the shoes of the moon in order to tell this story?
Moon is always there in the sky, in the daytime or at night. Especially in the evening, moon observes our activities in dark, high up there, seen it widely but not so detailed. “Brighter the light, darker the shade” is such a moon language in my head. Moon is an outsider to be included, seeing our happiness, observing our sorrow. Human behaviour is the key, constant entropy, “Constant Human Game”.
Why have you decided to tell these particular stories through audio format rather than through your short fiction stories or poems?
I guess I have to find the only way I can tell, which are audio poems and stories. Moon got the audio because it doesn’t need to be precise in words but in sound; abandon the words because you understand the words.
What are some of your favourite subjects to write about?
Any exaggerated impossibility. The more ridiculous it gets, the more real it pretends to be. Sometimes I think about my stories I feel like, my goodness, the reality is way more crucial than any of my stories. I guess in life, I learned how to laugh with it than laugh at it.
Could you explain the meaning behind the artwork for ‘Diffraction’?
Words to be diffracted, there must be an obstacle.
What would be the best environment to listen to the EP in?
An environment you feel you could stay in your fantasy safely.
How did your relationship begin with Steve Bicknell and his label 6dimensions?
Begun in early 2017, Steve heard the concept and he enjoyed it. Steve and Alex (fatcat) are willing to take the risk for my ideas. I appreciate that and means a lot to me, yet to learn as well.
When it comes to performing live, do you tend to prepare your sets beforehand or leave a lot of room for improvisation?
50/50 I would say. More preparation more room for going wild in my head.
You also draw on influences from cult films and fiction – what has influenced you recently?
“Get Out” is quite a good one but it didn’t influence me much. Perhaps youtube conspiracy videos inspire me more recently.
What have been some of your favourite memories of 2018?
My sourdough finally looks like something I would purchase; the moment when my face finally feels dehydrated after a good facial mask; finishing 1 season of something in one day; producing whatever it came in the studio without any expectation.
‘Diffraction’ by Jing is out now on 6dimensions – buy here.