Through his concern for the most insignificant subjects and the pertinence of his narrative framework, not a moment goes by where Yang Jian doesn’t use his artistic creation to stir up habitual experiences and the restrictions and stipulations imposed on daily life. At face value, this kind of joking and teasing – both theatrical and humorous at the same time – is diametrically opposed to a great many previous performance methods that related explicitly to Realpolitik. Oftentimes the artist constructs grotesqueness to reach the shore opposite to that of the truth. Either that or he uses randomness and coincidence to unfurl a vigorous, technical rhetoric, whereby he uncovers a logical revolt hidden beneath everyday appearances.

At first glance, Yang Jian’s artistic practice seems oriented towards a kind of “technical” rhetoric with regards to emotions or phenomena, when in actual fact it possesses a melancholic, novel-like core, as well as a montage-like attitude that is revealed when his work deals with specific incidents. His artistic output includes video, installations and performance, among other domains.

Yang Jian (b. 1982, Fujian Province, China) received his MA from the School of Fine Arts, Xiamen University in 2007. From 2009 to 2010, Yang Jian was admitted to the international residency program at the Dutch Royal Academy of Fine Arts (RABK). In 2010 he was awarded funding by the Dutch Niemeijer Fonds Foundation. In 2015, he won the Special Jury Prize of the Third “Huayu Youth Award” at Art-Sanya, China. Recent solo exhibitions include The Times Impossible to Encounter; The Gaze from a Composite Leviathan, WHITE SPACE BEIJING, Beijing, China (2018); General Image, SNAP, Shanghai, China (2017); Yang Jian: Constructing Ruins, Taikang Space, Beijing, China (2017); The Beginning of Infinity, WHITE SPACE BEIJING, China (2016); World Monitor: Doomsday has begun, yet nothing bad has happened, A307, Beijing, China (2016). Recent group exhibitions include Noire Lumière, HOW Art Museum (Shanghai), Shanghai, China (2020); A Composite Leviathan, Luhring Augustine Bushwick, New York, USA (2019); Three Rooms: Edge of Now, Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany (2019)&Chronus Art Center, Shanghai, China (2018-2019)&Nam June Paik Art Center, Seoul, South Korea (2018); Social Emotion, Cc Foundation & Art Centre, Shanghai, China (2017); Turning Point: Contemporary Art in China Since 2000, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2017). Yang Jian currently lives and works in Beijing and Nanjing, China.

SELECTED WORKS