"Appearances" New Works by Jian-Jun An
City: Vancouver
Curator: Sen Wong
Academic Presider: Shengtian Zheng、Liu Yi
Duration: 2018-08-20 ~ 2018-09-07
Opening: Aug. 23rd, 18: 00 pm
Venue: Pendulum Gallery
Address: HSBC Building Atrium, 885 West Georgia,Vancouver, BC V6C 3E8
Participating Artist(s): Jian-Jun An
Host(s): New Primary Color Arts Foundation、R Space Arts Development Foundation

Co-ordinated by Feng Li

In collaboration with Vancouver’s New Primary Color Art Foundation and the Vancouver R Space Art Development Foundation, Jianjun An’s exhibition: the Appearance will be exhibited at the Pendulum Gallery in downtown Vancouver from August 20th to September 7th. We introduce Jianjun An’s, a dynamic artist and his latest series, Appearance. The opening reception and a panel discussion will be held on the evening of August 23rd. A group of special keynote speakers including art critics, curators; media advisers and the artist Jianjun An will be attending the opening and panel discussion.We welcome those who are interested to join us.

Globalization has had a huge impact on human life, such as social changes at all levels of ociety, individual identities,regional geography, time, history, culture, language, and other interfaces that have been obscured and re-examined.Human society is in desperate need of a balancing power that breaks through the geographical and ethnic cultural boundaries and to alleviate conflicts to achieve harmony and balance. Vancouver is a notable place of “immigration,”attracting immigrants from all over the world. Immigration statuses at various levels have formed some very unique and diverse social ecology. Vancouver has long been North America’s gate to the Asia Pacific; consequently, it also possesses various social resources. Just like how a person’s life resembles a painting, many remarkable immigrants carrying all types of identities, gather in Vancouver to form a colorful ukiyo-e painting. Underneath all the splendor, immigrants are burdened with their native traditions and experiences in life. They face both their new home and the nostalgia of the past;they integrate and resist at the same time. In the end, the entanglement of countless cultural conflicts slowly come together to form a new value of thinking.

Jianjun An’s new series, Appearances shows the painting of more than twenty different types of Canadian immigrants from all over the world. These people carry unforgettable memories of the past, such as their wonderful lives from before or even secrets that were never meant to be told. Once immigrated to Canada, these memories are repressed. Everyone inherits an appearance that is basically the same and equal, and socialize with each other politely. However, the superiority or inferiority behind their appearances has been concealed by their very masks. Jianjun An, an artist with sharp perception,felt strongly about this as it had left a deep impression on him. His artworks reflect the current era and some of the most notable representations of immigrants’ lives. They explore the relationship between the inner self and the external appearances. On the other hand, his artwork also reflects the influence of globalization in regional economy, politics and culture. Mr. Liu Yi, the academic advisor of this exhibition, commented: “Appearances contains meaningful works that marks a crucial leap in Jianjun An’s artistic practice. Jianjun An placed an incomplete mask in each of his artworks. These masks were deliberately painted yet do not garner attention, and the entire group of works was arranged in a row as if it were an absurd drama being staged. None of the masks still hang on their faces, thus there is no need for them to exist because ‘the appearance is the essence’. In other words, most people cannot hide their true self.” A large-scale life-sized painting presents a series of various personalities and representations. The artworks merged identities, true emotional identities and characteristics from the real world to provide viewers with insights on how we present ourselves and how we are seen by others. Jianjun An referred to these works as his series of “appearances”. This shows that the identity and image we present to the world is built by our own personality, yet it will be interpreted by different people in the outside world as stereotypes. The figures on these canvases are presented to the world in a way that implies a desire to interact with the audience; they have their own stories that illustrate and demonstrate that dialogues between individuals and cultures can help “reveal” the true identity of the subject.

Art critic (professor/doctor advisor of Hubei Academy of Fine Arts) Professor Yin, Xiaobin once commented on Jianjun An's paintings: “artistic language of the east and the west, elements of modern concepts and his personal art experience. As a result, he creates an art language system with his unique traits that discusses the issues of modern society and culture.”

At the exhibition, Appearances is like a life stage that has been fixed for a moment. The figures and the audiences are within easy reach. When various meaningful messages are self-speaking and recurring inside each audience’s heart, this very interaction and dialogue is also a meaningful thinking behind Jianjun An’s group of works. Through the viewing of this group of works, we shared his past experiences in life, especially in his ten years after immigration, the insights,experiences and thoughts gained from his own reflection. This is a bold art breakthrough in contemporary art.


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[Editor] 张艳