California-transplanted Nunatsiavimmiuk artist Chantal Jung thoughtfully layers recycled magazine snippets into snapshots of personality, building a nesting space with each application for the intimate in her collages. One of her best known series pairs floral themes with portraits of friends and family, which uncovers personal and communal histories. “People get very excited about sharing their favourite plants,” Jung explains. “There’s usually a personal story that goes with them.”
Chantal Jung Sydnie (2018) Mixed media 33 × 24 cm COURTESY THE ARTIST
“I think about the environment of Labrador,” she says of the intertwined relationship of flowers and identity that guide her work. “The flowers and plants there have their own narrative of colonization. It’s seeing them kind of like our relatives, similarly to how we see humans.”
Jung’s collages recently sprang to life in Black Belt Eagle Scout’s music video supporting “I Said I Wouldn’t Write This Song” (2020)—Jung’s first work of animation. The music video navigates the Alaskan scenery of Black Belt Eagle Scout’s Iñupiat heritage and ends with a sentiment that saturates Jung’s work: building awareness of climate change and the important shift to environmental friendliness. Through short film, collage, animation and zine-making, Jung explores identity and what it means to be an Inuk living in California. “It’s hard to learn about things if you’re not there, but I want to create more short films that focus on all kinds of different things that I still carry with me [wherever] I go,” she says.
This piece was originally published in the Fall 2020 issue of the Inuit Art Quarterly.