ZHANG Jian : Searching 章劍《尋》
ZHANG Jian 章劍:
9 December 2020 – 11 February 2021
ZHANG’s art practice is informed by both impressionism and abstract expressionism. His paintings capture the light and atmosphere of outdoor sceneries using energetic brushstrokes with brilliant colours. Having grown up in the countryside, he has fond memories of nature and has been greatly inspired by it. Currently residing in the city of Beijing, he is still able to connect to nature and enjoy the greenery in urban areas by spending time at the seaside, city parks and outdoor recreational sites.
Since the early 2000s, ZHANG has been using photographic images as visual references for his works. The artist employs smooth, broad strokes to depict abstract impressions of daily life. He vividly captures ordinary outdoor sceneries and activities in the city’s public areas, such as a green city park with a runner jogging along a shaded walkway; lush hillside with family and friends enjoying a day out; and poolside with sunbathers relaxing in a summer afternoon. These scenes resemble the photographic memories of the simple and joyous moments of our lives.
In contrary to his treatment of natural spaces with open landscapes and ambiguous human figures, another series amplifies the lively colours and ever-changing energy of nature. In the “Flower” series, a lavish mix of flowers and plants grow vigorously and occupy the entire canvases. His other works are emotionally charged, with bold, dynamic lines and outlandish colours in complex compositions. While his works “Time” and “Searching” are undoubtedly portrayals of life in nature, the prominent presence of the lone figure in each painting suggests that these landscapes are perhaps a reflection of the human’s inner state of mind.