How do you feel? That is the question that Wenjia Wang, a Chinese illustrator living in New York, asks, or rather tries to answer. How do you feel? Is also the title of her latest series of illustrations, which focuses on the connection between the mind and the body. Her research focuses on the effects that physical experience has on our psychology and how our mind can instead influence the sensations of the body. Technically called Embodied cognition or Philosophy of the Body, Wenjia interprets it graphically, digitally depicting the organs and five senses in human attitudes, charging them with emotion. Through a light and subtle stroke filled with bright and shiny colors, Wenjia Wang depicts suffering and pain, masked by a harmonious appearance. Eyes, ears, tongue and fingers, are personified and gain consciousness.
In the work entitled “Eye Pressure,” the eye is compressed by its own nerves, manifesting its impatience with technology, which pervades it. Technological intolerance is also highlighted in the depiction of an ear and its eardrum being struck by sonic lightning bolts, coming from the speakers of a smartphone.
The stinging, subtle pain attempts to impress the viewer through scenes they can feel on their own skin. A foot walks naked through tall grass and a giant mosquito stings it on the sole. A finger runs slowly over a sheet of paper, cutting through the epidermis. Sensations and scenes that make us cringe and gain dynamism in our minds precisely because of their familiarity. The Chinese artist of New York adoption, through a layer of uncanny narrative, isolates specific moments creating a dimension in which each element comes alive with a life of its own.