Duan Jianyu:The Seduction of Village

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Duaanjianyu solo 2010  (20)
Opening Time:4:00 pm. 20th November , 2010
Exhibition Duration: 20th November – 20th December, 2010
Venue:Red No. A-3,Caochangdi, Cui Gezhuang, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100015 China

[A Portrait of the Artist]

Duan Jianyu’s mother used to work in the state bookshop Xinhua (New China), the biggest bookstore chain in the country. Her father is a writer. His short novels express the character of the local people. He is an almost vernacular writer, having devoted himself to researching in depth and describing all nuance of the reality around him. ①

Even her brushstrokes and palette point us toward an ineffable, slightly aggravating world. Her paintings summon us to envision a threshold we have no way of reaching in daily life, and with equal precision, they summon our feelings about contemporary Chinese reality. As such, they project the background of contemporary China, from the villages to the cities-full of vigor but also incredibly trite. ②

This narrative expansiveness and openness makes Duan Jianyu’s paintings virtually capable of containing all resources, from art classics to grassroots stories, from urban life to pastoral songs, even from the inside of painting to the outside. In this sense, we call her a painting because of our bias. ③

“Life is a heap of mixed material of unclear quality.” This assertion by Duan Jianyu points to the philosophical nature of her art. Purposely avoiding the painterly sublime, she strives for the most generic subject matter and she delves into banal expression and style. ④

All these different ideologies fill the contemporary Chinese mind, influencing and directing their behavior. Duan Jianyu is more interested in the typical Chinese mentality, which is to create relationships based on human emotional connections. She sees this as a secret functional philosophy of how Chinese reality has been formed. ⑤

①Monica Dematté, Had She Been a Writer
②Hu Fang, How to Travel with a Watermelon
③Bao Dong,How to Use Painting to Mock Painting
④Ruth Noack, Award-winning reason of the Best Artist of Chinese Contemporary Art Awards 2010
⑤Zhang Wei, A Letter to a Friend