Bingyu Jiang was born in Wuxi a city in southern Jiangsu province, China. He moved between several houses before moving to Beijing to attend school. After school, he worked for a commercial bank until 2014, when he left to develop an art practice. The conversation surrounds his relationship to his father and a description of his childhood home.
My research began with the interview and subsequent transcription of Bingyu Jiang, a twenty-eight-year old banker turned master art student, currently attending the University of Southern California, where I also attend. Our conversation focused on his relationship with his father and a description of his childhood home in Wuxi, China. I negotiated cultural sensitivities that are required during the interview, while understanding that Bingyu Jiang would also be negotiating these simultaneously with me. I went into the interview with methodological flexibility, and with the knowledge that I personally, would need to evolve and transform during the interview process in order to gain all of the information. My ability to be flexible to responses, can garner trust and incite collaboration that might otherwise not take shape.
I am interested in how Bingyu Jiang’s interview responses and my subsequent transformation caused me to never return to the same point as before; there is an on-going mutual shaping that occurs between (myself) researcher and the researched (Bingyu Jiang) during the interview where I negotiate the environment, his responses, my biases or familiarity towards my subject, and how I interpret his responses and accumulate the data. My own observations and actions affected the situation I was creating, transforming the interview to be more complicated and hopefully more compelling.
- Hailey Loman, June 28, 2018
Employing reflexivity into the interview process -- the transcribing, the inventorying and archiving of the transcription, and in how I choose to display the material -- began with an investigation into myself. I examined what my ambitions are for the collection, which I believe to be various ways of asking myself questions I have been unable to answer. By using a reflexive approach to the interview process my research process to be stronger; the interviewee’s responses will be more honest and straightforward, and it will reduce anxiety between the interviewer and myself, as we feel that a more accurate portrayal of ourselves can be depicted. I have not lived Bingyu Jiang’s experiences, but I know the effects and limits of my own experience, inclusive of this exchange and participation - I am inscribing and internalized within.
Towards the end of transcribing the interview I believe that this approach encouraged my research and myself to go beyond the limitations of hegemonic models (e.g. institutional practices, ethical codes, guidelines) to interrogate underlying goals and the ways in which I address these goals or ambitions. By applying reflexivity into my interviewing process, I was able to discover and correct biased errors which would otherwise remain unseen and reexamine my own moral codes and value systems.
- Hailey Loman, June 28, 2018