Nici Jost

Sorting Rice, 2018

Video 2:05h
Photography, Fine art print on alu-dibond 50x75cm
Room painted in “Peach Pink” (Pink Colour System)
Spending most of the time of my life in Europe and North America my research is strongly anchored in the western culture. Here it is one of the few colours in the spectrum that establishes a certain emotional and aesthetic condition which are dealt with by each viewer in different ways. It is fraught with many prejudices and associations. Above all, in adults world, pink has mainly negative and highly controversial connotation. On the one hand it is considered a girl’s or baby color, but pink is historically also the color for the royal offspring (called the “little magenta”). Due to the Nazi stigmatization of pink, the color received a negative “gay” connotation in today’s male society. Paradoxically, pink is now used as a group marker for homosexuals. I am playing with that physical and mental reaction of the audience. But I am not only working with pink as controversial element of social and cultural associations, also part of it are evolutionary influences, the use and perception of color determined by the context of each cultural sphere.
After creating the “Pink Colour System” in 2016, by systematically organizing and categorizing the colour pink, not only emphasizing different hues and shades of pink but also their historical, political and social meanings and the psychological effects it has on people and the reactions it provokes, I decided to extend my research to a global scale. China in particular might be one of the most enlightening destinations for an art-specific, intercultural analysis of the aesthetics of the colour pink, and my work in general. I found it rather difficult to find out more about the role of the colour pink in China using only the internet and literature found in Europe. My vision was to investigate and capture the colour and its perception in Chinese culture on site. What does colour say about cultures in general? Different cultures have different colour theories, especially pink seems to be a very interesting parameter to investigate.
„Peach Pink“ is one of the two new pink shades created in China, during a six month residency in Shanghai. The colourful rice is part of my pink collection. The rice is made by the ethnic minority group Buyi. The traditional five-coloured glutinous rice is prepared to celebrate the beginning of a new year.