Edge of a Story

Works by Dan Jian

Vista Gallery

April 16-June 26, 2021

Artist Statement

My work explores landscape as a motif and metaphor that conveys a depth of meaning through the reductive representation of form. As an immigrant, I find landscape acquires meaning through memories. Through reflection and recollection, we are the subjects overwriting a landscape’s original narrative while holding the potential of all future memory. The current work draws pictorial references from Buddhist mural painting in Tang dynasty caves, China (Mogao Caves at Dunhuang), in which stories and narratives are constantly shifting due to the flattened and sometimes ambiguous background. Examining this characteristic, I explore shifts in meaning by re-contextualizing familiar traditional painting motifs and making new points of connection between people, places, and narrative. Working with oil on paper, I blend quotidian environs with non sequitur images to capture a narrative that remains mysterious enough to invite personal associations and imaginings. Each work is an open-ended formal search that examines how culture builds myths, defines what's ordinary, and incites emotion.

Artist Bio

Dan Jian (b.1986, Hubei, China) is a visual artist who works across painting, drawing, and project-based installation. She received her BFA from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, and from the Ohio State University, she gained her MFA with a minor in Comparative Study.

Dan's recent solo show and two-person shows include Coburn Gallery in Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio, 934 Gallery and Sean Christopher Gallery in Columbus, OH; Organhaus Contemporary Art Space in Chongqing, China. Her group work was exhibited nationally across the US, as well as internationally in China and Italy. Her awards and endorsements include a recent RCAF project grant from Texas Christian University, Certificate of Merit from the Philadelphia Watercolor Society, Arts and Humanities Graduate Research Grant at Ohio State University, as well as Finalist for the Don Bachardy Fellowship in London, UK.

Dan is a recent residency alumnus of Ragsdale Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Keeping an on-going studio practice. Dan currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas, and works at Texas Christian University.