Artists of Penn State: Scarlett Li and Jane Jin

Meet Scarlett Li and Jane Jin who are taking the State College art scene by storm.


Name: Scarlett Li

Major: Integrative Arts and Film & Video with minors in Geography and Music Technology

Hometown: Shenzhen, China


Name: Jane Jin

Major: Advertising with an English Minor

Hometown: Suzhou, China


HC: Tell us about yourselves.

Jane: I am a painter and illustrator.

Scarlett: I’m a filmmaker and photographer.

HC: Have you presented your work anytime recently?

Jane: We combined our works and held an exhibition. The improbability of storytelling, in which we empathized the infinite possibilities of the visible world and how impossibly difficult to see things in another person's perspectives. This exhibition consisted of dark room photography by Scarlett Li and broken words poetry on paintings by me. 

HC: That’s so great! Have you had any other exhibitions in the past?

Jane: I have been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to have my works exhibited at SHC (Schreyer Honors College) for the past semester and the title of the exhibition is: "Precise depiction of mundane."  I am also a student poet and I have been featured in multiple open-mic events with spoken word poetry at Webster's Bookstore, Common Place and other "Speaker series" events (in the area).

Scarlett: Two of my films, which were thesis projects, “Parsley Girl" and "To the Lost", were both selected to be in the annual Blue and White Film festival. My film "Parsley girl" was also featured in the Katra Film Festival in New York City.

HC: What has been your biggest influence on your work?

Jane: I don't really know. I think I write or I draw for myself for fun. If there is an influence on my work, I would have to say my friends. They have filled my life with so much joy, sadness and love that I am so saturated emotionally. My art is my outlet for that. 

HC: What's the best thing about being an international student at Penn State?

Jane: It is almost natural for you to see things differently. You have the option to combine the best elements of two cultures and formulate your own ways of thinking and living. You are given a chance to conquer and own a battle that a lot of people have walked away from. Simply living in a new place is completely different than blending into a new culture. You need to know this place and people through and through to know how to place or position yourself but the feeling when you achieve little things is so rewarding that you almost feel invincible. 

HC: What’s a negative aspect or challenge of being an international student at Penn State?

Jane: Nothing has challenged me more than expressing me in a brand new culture that I wasn't initially born in. Also, the " international" tag is extremely tough to get rid of. When I was a freshmen in Penn State, I realized I am not really myself but instead I am an international student. A lot of people have introduced me to others as "my international friend from China," but besides that I don't really have an identity that is exclusively mine. I don't want to be defined by this term. Yes, I am an international student but I am also a lot more.

Scarlett: I will be honest about the worst thing: Visa documents. I can't speak for all the people, but at least for me and many of my friends. We have had to deal with visa issues so we cannot just get a job and work or make a living. We cannot just stay at our apartment and do nothing. If we want to be a starving artist, we need to figure out how legal this is first. 

HC: What’s next for you guys?

Jane: As for now, we are both graduating and we are both heading to the west coast. I have no idea what to expect, but we will sail as the wave comes, hopefully with grace, or without it.