The painting tells us that there is another world beyond the physical reality.
To return, return ... amidst the fragrance of wheat, a blade of wicker grass between my lips,
as I open my heart wide and sit without hesitation on the tractor!
Going home ... there is nothing like home!
The wandering soul belongs neither to the city nor to the village.
Even if my paintings seem false, who can say they are not realism? The chickens in my work rampage and shit everywhere. They love watching scenes in elegant places. The airhostess in my work is not really related to any airplane, ha ha, who cares if she is or not! She always rushes with her suitcase, leaving footsteps in the Gobi Desert and sweating on the plain. Beasts always put obstacles in her way. She is always energetic and dignified, even when carrying cabbages and a monkey’s bananas. Maybe she will be holding your uncle’s child or pulling your aunt’s nephew. She never feels tired in her work. She always walks elegantly. She is always full of mystery and love. She can be you or me. When she is exhausted, she will sit by the rock, take off her shoes, smell the flowers and listen to the birds sing.
— Duan Jianyu, The Seduction of Village
About Duan Jianyu
Born in 1970 in Zhengzhou, Henan province, Duan Jianyu graduated from the oil painting department at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art in 1995. She currently teaches at the South China Normal University of the Arts in Guangzhou.
Duan Jianyu’s work bizarrely bring us to a blurry and slightly annoying place. Her paintings recall a boundary that is mentally non-tangible in our daily lives. Yet they precisely recall the feeling of living in modern and contemporary China under globalization. Duan Jianyu strives for the most generic subjects matter and she delves into banal expression and style, and very much about life in the present tense. Her painting grows from its proto-concept and outline of different modes of living into a painted reality. Continuously impacted, resisted, altered and formed by the pictures that emerge from different influences, situations and awarenesses, this reality has the same complexity as the material reality before us. Duan Jianyu wanders the boundaries between abstraction and figuration, so-called narrative follows the logic of painting itself, and unknown experiences open up.
Image and Text: the shop, ©Authors, the shop, 2019
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