Land of Lights

Artist Statement

My work explores an inner world of stored images and reflects on the shifting space of landscape, narrative, and memory. In the context of globalization, I am interested in how any image conveys a sense of time and place specific to a personal and cultural history; drawing and painting have been the constants on which I rely to investigate these questions.

As an immigrant, I find landscape acquires meaning through memories. Through reflection and recollection, we are the subjects overwriting a landscape’s original meaning while holding the potential of all future memory. I draw and paint people in their native environments in an effort to redefine and re-establish a sense of belonging within their habitats.

My source material includes photographs, popular mass-culture images, and classical art from European and Asian traditions. Currently, I look to traditional Chinese ink drawings and Tang dynasty cave murals (Mogao Caves at Dunhuang), examining the way in which negative space metaphorically becomes a placeless-land; the flattened and sometimes ambiguous space invites an openness in which the drawing becomes an uncertain and shifting trajectory rather than a finalized representation. Through collages and juxtaposition, I re-fashion and combine images in different styles for presentation as a new whole. Each work is an open-ended formal search of personal and collective memories, emotions, and history.

Dan Jian (b.1986, Lichuan, China) is a visual artist who works across painting, drawing, animation, and video. Dan received her BFA from the Tyler School of Art, and from Ohio State University, she gained her MFA with a minor in comparative study. She currently lives and works in Fort Worth, TX. Dan’s solo show and group work were recently exhibited at Organhaus Contemporary Art Space in Chongqing, China; Roy G Biv Gallery and Riffe Gallery, OH; Western Colorado Center for the Arts, CO; The Carnegie, KY; and Emerge Gallery & ArtSpace, NY. Her awards and endorsements include a Certificate of Merit from the Philadelphia Watercolor Society, “Art at Graduate School” award and Arts and Humanities Graduate Research Grant at Ohio State University, as well as finalist for the Don Bachardy Fellowship, London.