Seagull Camera by HE Jian | Somo
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He Jian is notable for his distinctive amalgamation of ancient and contemporary Chinese culture. Rather than painting in oil like most of his contemporaries, he uses rice paper, dry pigment, and binder as his media. He strategically layers and manipulates his paints to take on the timeworn quality of the 14th century Yuan Dynasty frescoes at the Yong Le Temple in Shanxi Province. He Jian uses this distinctive new-old, antiquated style to present a wide range of quotidian subject matter. Although many of his works portray figural groups engaged in activities characteristic of modern Chinese life, in this series He Jian directs his focus towards utilitarian objects that signaled China’s shift towards a consumer culture. Seagull, the first camera maker in China founded in 1958, released the DF series seen here in 1964, and today, its image instantly conjures nostalgia for the time period. He Jian's painting melds the stylistics of classical China with a subject that heralds its recent history in paintings that negotiate the separate but continuous histories that inform China's present.

A word from The Artist

For a long time I’ve been pondering the tools and materials of traditional Chinese painting, the limits and problems of its expressive abilities, and its possibilities in a contemporary context. Specifically, I try to use the mottled texture of the ancient frescoes and the independent quality of their lines to create an image that tends towards realism. My images usually attempt to capture the complex feelings caused by unprecedented cultural jumble encountered by people in today's world, as well as the indescribable aching associated with memories and the passing of time.

Seagull Camera

海鸥照相机

By HE Jian 由何剑创作
Display: in cm

24.5 x 30.5cm | Series of 100
$35.00 each  100 remaining
33.9 x 40.6cm | Series of 300
$59.00 each  300 remaining
50.8 x 61cm | Series of 150
$249.00 each  150 remaining
Prints are created with archival-quality pigment inks and 100% cotton rag acid-free paper.

Each print comes with a certificate of authenticity numbered and signed by the artist.

Dimensions are for the size of the paper on which the image is printed - not the image itself. All prints have a white border to allow for framing.

Revenues from each purchase are shared with the artist.

A Closer Look

He Jian strategically layers and manipulates his paints to take on the timeworn quality of 14th century Yuan Dynasty frescoes.

More paintings from HE Jian