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Women & Their Work presents Dan Jian: "The Bow Whispers to the Arrow" opening reception

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Image courtesy of Dan Jian

Dan Jian’s drawings are meditations on the act of looking. Her works remind us that our stories are constantly evolving. In "The Bow Whispers to the Arrow," time and material collide and seem to hover on the surface of each piece.

Jian constructs work using mostly dust. Charcoal dust and burned ashes are first mixed and fixed on translucent paper; the process allows the medium to form gravitational washes, similar to the effect of ink. Then, through a painstaking process, she uses scissors, an Exacto knife, and glue to create introverted landscapes filled with imaginary narratives and symbols. The result is her nimble interpretation of an inner world of remembered images on the dusted ground.

New works navigate the tension between the past and present in monochromatic compositions and layers of cutout collage. Her (re)creations float between recollection of old memories and construction of new meanings: mundane modern images pulled from the Texas landscape seamlessly merge with non-western and ancient pictorial motifs, which link to Jian’s interest in Islamic and Chinese painting traditions. Multiple meanings of home and belonging are referenced throughout her works, such as in the mountainscapes reminiscent of the artist’s home in Hubei, China.

Each work functions as an open-ended formal search that examines how one negotiates individual, cultural, and geographic space. A deliberate lack of grounding shrouds floating subjects and contributes to a sense of mystery, urging viewers to keep looking while contemplating the unknown.

Following the opening reception, the exhibit will be on display until September 7.

Dan Jian’s drawings are meditations on the act of looking. Her works remind us that our stories are constantly evolving. In "The Bow Whispers to the Arrow," time and material collide and seem to hover on the surface of each piece.

Jian constructs work using mostly dust. Charcoal dust and burned ashes are first mixed and fixed on translucent paper; the process allows the medium to form gravitational washes, similar to the effect of ink. Then, through a painstaking process, she uses scissors, an Exacto knife, and glue to create introverted landscapes filled with imaginary narratives and symbols. The result is her nimble interpretation of an inner world of remembered images on the dusted ground.

New works navigate the tension between the past and present in monochromatic compositions and layers of cutout collage. Her (re)creations float between recollection of old memories and construction of new meanings: mundane modern images pulled from the Texas landscape seamlessly merge with non-western and ancient pictorial motifs, which link to Jian’s interest in Islamic and Chinese painting traditions. Multiple meanings of home and belonging are referenced throughout her works, such as in the mountainscapes reminiscent of the artist’s home in Hubei, China.

Each work functions as an open-ended formal search that examines how one negotiates individual, cultural, and geographic space. A deliberate lack of grounding shrouds floating subjects and contributes to a sense of mystery, urging viewers to keep looking while contemplating the unknown.

Following the opening reception, the exhibit will be on display until September 7.

WHEN

WHERE

Women & Their Work
1311 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702, USA
https://womenandtheirwork.org/upcoming/dan-jian/

TICKET INFO

Admission is free
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