Chinese-Australian artist Guo Jian presents a body of extraordinary prints that put China’s past and present under the microscope in The Encroachment. Opening drinks will be held on Thursday 9 February, 6-8pm.
An artist with an international reputation for producing work that is both caustically satirical and dissident, Guo Jian’s latest exhibition at ARC ONE Gallery is a poetic reflection on his observations from both sides of propaganda and art. In The Encroachment, Guo Jian produces intricate photographic collages that depict serene landscapes, animals, and religious icons based on traditional Chinese paintings, some borrowed from the culturally significant Ming and Qing dynasties. Up close, his images subtly unfold to reveal a sea of montaged, smiling faces. Large-scale and commanding from afar, the works are underpinned by a compilation of clippings the artist has extracted from excessive trash found throughout the streets and land across China.
The pixels of faces belong to movie and television stars, who, according to Guo Jian, display “their notoriously sexy smiles that infiltrate and encroach all aspects of our environment in China these days ... scattering out of TVs and movie screens into the rivers around villages and cities.” Juxtaposing a unique cultural heritage with the malignant side of consumerism, he brings into focus an environmental and cultural decay that has begun to take hold of contemporary China. Guo Jian’s remarkably detailed prints – utterly beautiful and yet political and acerbic – incite a sense of urgency as they interrogate the changing face of a country, culture and spiritual values.
Following his experience as a propaganda poster painter in the People’s Liberation Army during the late 1970s, Guo Jian has carved an impressive career as a contemporary artist of note, participating in numerous exhibitions within Germany, France, Belgium, Sweden, USA, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and China. He has been featured in Artist Profile Magazine, The New York Times, CNN, The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Radio and TV, and on the cover of the Asian Wall Street Journal’s Weekend Magazine. His work is featured in a number of prominentcollections,including:GalleryofModernArt,Brisbane(GOMA);NationalGalleryofAustralia,Canberra; White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; Global Resources, Los Angeles, USA; as well as private collections in China, Hong Kong, Mexico, Sweden, Belgium, France, New Zealand, Australia and USA.