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Kuang Jian
Kuang Jian  (1961 —         )

Kuang Jian was born in 1961 in Hefei City, Anhui province. He began studying art privately in 1974 and in 1979 was accepted into the Academy of Arts of the People's Liberation Army, Beijing. Following his graduation in 1983 he became an art director for the Army Day Movie Studio in Beijing. Kuang Jian was awarded the Bronze prize at the Seventh National Exhibition in 1988 and has participated in shows in Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, and the USA. His work is included in numerous private and institutional collections world-wide including the Shanghai Art Museum and the Modern Arts Museum, Berlin. Kuang Jian currently resides in Beijing where he is a professional artist.




 

  • Sunshine of Pamir, 1994
    Oil on Canvas
    57" x 44" (145cm x 112cm)

    About this work

    Kuang Jian has long been interested in the minorities of the Pamir region in far Western China. As a student, he studied them in history books and when he was able to go there he found the people very calm and friendly and was attracted to them as subjects for his earliest paintings. He has used the young girl from "Sunshine of Pamir" in a few paintings and says he especially liked her eyes and the way she seemed to look beyond any problems she might have. Her costume in this portrait is actually Han Chinese, not typically Pamir, but he liked the way she looked in it when she suggested she would like to wear it for a portrait. The bright light coming through the window on the left side of the picture brilliantly contrasts the red costume and the dark, colorless background making for a stunning portrait.   

  • Dislocation, 1994
    Oil on Canvas
    57" x 44" (145cm x 112cm)

    About this work

    Kuang Jian says that when he painted this subject he was trying to express the reality of life in China for the younger generation. He states, "Economic reform in the early 1980's in China affected people in different ways and some didn't know how to respond to it. They didn't know which way to go with their lives or the possibilities available to them and they seemed to me to be dislocated, floating in mid-air almost, not knowing which way they would turn. Therefore, everything in this painting is displaced, but the feeling is real. I painted this in a hyper-realist style and, like Dali's work, the more you look at it, the more you question what you see. It proposes questions, questions that will need answers."    

  • Losing Memory, 1998
    Oil on Canvas
    40" x 32" (101cm x 81cm)

    About this work

    This evocative painting is one of a series created by Kuang Jian in the mid- to late-1990s, inspired by the feelings of uncertainty that accompanied China’s economic reform. It combines a photorealist style with surrealist elements, depicting a young woman seated in a chair with a seemingly unrelated pair of arms folded across her lap and her head and legs disappearing into the background.

  • Dancer in the Room, 1998
    Oil on Canvas
    21" x 28" (53cm x 71cm)

    About this work

    This painting depicts a young dancer in a black leotard and ballet shoes who is sitting on a dining table, rather than standing at a barre in a studio. Although it is a more conventional painting than Kuang’s other work from the period, “Dancer in the Room” elicits a similar feeling of detachment.

  • A Strange Look, 1998
    Oil on Canvas
    17" x 15" (43cm x 38cm)

    About this work

    Kuang Jian has long been interested in the minorities of the Pamir region in far Western China. As a student, he studied them in history books and when he was able to go there he found the people very calm and friendly and was attracted to them as subjects for his earliest paintings. He has used this young Pamir girl in a few paintings.  

  • Balance, 1998
    Oil on Canvas
    57" x 44" (145cm x 112cm)

    About this work

    As one of the themes in his art, Kuang Jian has interpreted the changes affecting the younger Chinese generation. He has stated that initially, he believed his generation felt displaced, but over time, they have begun to balance their lives. This balancing is what the artist addresses in a series of paintings produced in the late 1990's. Executed in a hyper-realist style, yet with surrealist aspects to the compositions, the paintings have a powerful presence. The artist's message is that the transitioning of his generation in Chinese society is moving quickly and perhaps with some uncertainty, but peacefully, one generation to the next.   

  • Person, Space, Object, 1998
    Oil on Canvas
    39" x 32" (99cm x 81cm)

    About this work

    As one of the themes in his art, Kuang Jian has interpreted the changes affecting the younger Chinese generation. He has stated that initially, he believed his generation felt displaced, but over time, they have begun to balance their lives. This balancing is what the artist addresses in a series of paintings produced in the late 1990's. Executed in a hyper-realist style, yet with surrealist aspects to the compositions, the paintings have a powerful presence. The artist's message is that the transitioning of his generation in Chinese society is moving quickly and perhaps with some uncertainty, but peacefully, one generation to the next.   

  • Object, 1998
    Oil on Canvas
    29" x 24" (73 1/2cm x 61cm)

    About this work

    Kuang Jian uses a surrealist approach to composition in his still life paintings. He states, "I believe that a spiritual pursuit of subject matter can turn out to be abstract, but sometimes, artists who choose this direction neglect painting skills. I have chosen abstract 'themes' for my still life paintings; however, they are not superficial and the quality level is high. I think the best works of art come from a sound integration of these two aspects."   

  • White Space, 1998
    Oil on Canvas
    24" x 29" (61cm x 73 1/2cm)

    About this work

    Kuang Jian uses a surrealist approach to composition in his still life paintings. He states, "I believe that a spiritual pursuit of subject matter can turn out to be abstract, but sometimes, artists who choose this direction neglect painting skills. I have chosen abstract 'themes' for my still life paintings; however, they are not superficial and the quality level is high. I think the best works of art come from a sound integration of these two aspects."   

  • Unreal, 2001
    Oil on Canvas
    63" x 47" (160cm x 119cm)

    About this work

    As one of the themes in his art, Kuang Jian has interpreted the changes affecting the younger Chinese generation. He has stated that initially, he believed his generation felt displaced, but over time, they have begun to balance their lives. This balancing is what the artist addresses in a series of paintings produced in the late 1990's. Executed in a hyper-realist style, yet with surrealist aspects to the compositions, the paintings have a powerful presence. The artist's message is that the transitioning of his generation in Chinese society is moving quickly and perhaps with some uncertainty, but peacefully, one generation to the next.   

     
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