Born in Taiwan, Jeni has since moved to USA, where she received a BFA as an illustrator. After working in the field for several years and participating in various exhibitions, she decided to develop her artistic skills further and started studying experimental animation, graduating with an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts is 2014. Bridging these two areas — illustration and animation — has been her focus ever since.
The source of inspiration for Jeni is the relationship between humans and animals. Her works are layered with references to folk tales and mythology or to her Taiwanese origins, retaining a child-like innocence, while giving voice to her concerns about relevant global issues. This mix of subjects is also reflected in her tools, since as an illustrator Jeni prefers mixed materials. Often she uses wood grain as background texture for the warmth, drawing, painting, cutting or otherwise building additional layers on this base. More about Jeni’s work can be found on her homepage at http://jeniyang.com/
About her residency in Tartu, Jeni has suggested to do a project about to local endangered animal or plant species that she would in one way or another, use in experimental animation devices. Jeni herself describes her idea:
I want to see if I could create a few of handmade optical illusion devices to create a number of animation cycles. The examples of devices are zoetrope, phenakistoscopes, filpbooks, etc. The concepts and elements of this project will be consisted of specific local animals and living species in the nation of Estonia.