Julieta Hsiung


Acrylic painting on canvas, 73 x 92 cm



Nostalgia Acrylic painting on canvas, 73x92 cm

This work is born from the pangs of nostalgia experienced by a foreigner. During an extended summer stay in Madrid, I found myself reminiscing about the colors of my childhood room back home. In that room, green wallpaper adorned the walls, harmonizing with the wooden furniture. Upon closer inspection, you could discern subtle cracks along the edges of the wallpaper, as if it were trying to replicate the essence of a wooden house nestled in a forest, complete with its natural imperfections, within the confines of a domestic setting.

I recall those nights when the air was gentle, and the room basked in the warm glow of lights. It was during such moments that I would immerse myself in "The Wind in the Willows," surrounded by those familiar wallpapers and a myriad of personal belongings. It was the part in the book when the mole, after a series of adventures, finally returned to check on his underground house. In that instant, a wave of comfort and security washed over me. As the book beautifully phrases it:

´... The weary Mole also was glad to turn in without delay, and soon had his head on his pillow, in great joy and contentment. But ere he closed his eyes he let them wander round his old room, mellow in the glow of the firelight that played or rested on familiar and friendly things which had long been unconsciously a part of him, and now smilingly received him back, without rancour. He was now in just the frame of mind that the tactful Rat had quietly worked to bring about in him. He saw clearly how plain and simple- how narrow, even- it all was; but clearly, too, how much it all meant to him, and the special value of some such anchorage in one’s existence. He did not at all want to abandon the new life and its splendid spaces, to turn his back on sun and air and all they offered him and creep home and stay there; the upper world was all too strong, it called to him still, even down there, and he knew he must return to the larger stage. But it was good to think he had this to come back to, this place which was all his own, these things which were so glad to see him again and could always be counted upon for the same simple welcome.´

Considering both theoretical and practical aspects of wallpaper, we can assert that wallpaper, as a tool employed in home decoration, possesses the capacity to transform our perception of space and atmosphere through its colors and textured designs. Simultaneously, its existence serves as a testament to the evolutionary journey of human civilization, entwined with the visual habits that render it symbolic of inclusion and, at times, ignorance.

With a heart full of nostalgia and tender sentiments, I sought to capture these emotions on canvas through the portrayal of wallpaper. I placed this artistic representation within my present surroundings in Madrid. Within this context, the wallpaper ceases to be a mere object; it becomes a potent symbol of nostalgia, a vessel for concentrated memories. Throughout this artistic process, it acquires both decorative and conceptual significance. While it alters the aesthetics of the intimate space, it retains the ability to move, much like a house isn't merely a static location, but a repository of memories and a source of intimate feelings that can be carried forward into the next phase of life.