© Jialin Long, The young pioneer 1, from the series Red Illuminates, 2020

Jialin Long (born 1983) was born in Beijing and is a lens-based artist based outside Dublin. Long’s photographic practise uses new presentations strategies to explore social and political issues in an attempt to formulate alternative statements and positions. 

© Jialin Long, The young pioneer 2, from the series Red Illuminates, 2020
© Jialin Long, Special Criminal Syndicate Combat Poster, from the series Red Illuminates, 2020

Her most recent project, Red Illuminates, is a multimedia work comprising still and moving images that was created as a reflection on the culture of socialist countries and how loyalty to the state is cultivated, particularly in China. The idea for the project was sparked in a residential neighbourhood in Beijing near where Long grew up, when she noticed that ‘Special Criminal Syndicate Combat’ propaganda posters were displayed roughly every 40 meters. In addition to images of these posters, Red Illuminates also includes archetypal large-format portraits of so-called ‘young pioneers’ in the style of Mao Zedong’s portrait in Tiananmen Square. A moving image piece documents a white orchid blooming under artificial grow lights while ‘listening’ to socialist propaganda from CCTV (China’s official news channel) continuously for 30 days. With this video, Long asks: could this conditioning eventually turn a white orchid red?  

Long received a BA in photography from the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dublin. 

© Jialin Long, Untitled (still form moving image), from the series Red Illuminates, 2020
© Jialin Long, Untitled (stills form moving image), from the series Red Illuminates, 2020
© Jialin Long, The Special Criminal Syndicate Combat, from the series Red Illuminates, 2020
© Jialin Long, The young pioneer 1, from the series Red Illuminates, 2020
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