Dan Jian

Region: West

 In her drawings Jian utilizes dust as her material to navigate the tension between the past and present in monochromatic landscape compositions and layers of cutout collage. Through an incremental process, she uses scissors, an X-ACTO knife, and glue to create introverted landscapes filled with imaginary narratives and symbols. The result is her interpretation of an inner world of images on the dusted ground.

In Jian’s recent work, motifs, scenes, and topographies flow ambiguously, leading the viewer to imagine a narrative in a place both familiar and distant. Mundane modern images pulled from the Texas landscape seamlessly merge with non-Western and ancient pictorial motifs, linking Jian’s interest in diverse visual traditions and their in-betweenness. A deliberate lack of grounding shrouds the floating subjects and contributes to a sense of mystery, through which the artist asks, “How is dwelling possible without a home?” In Jian’s world, the stories constantly evolve, and viewers will keep looking while contemplating the unknown.