Wu Liang Ye (Chinese Wine) 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 assume 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.

In this painting, He Jian takes the most renowned brand of Chinese grain liquor, Wuliangye, as his subject. Made from a five-crop blend (broomcorn, rice, glutinous rice, wheat, and corn), Wuliangye is known within every household in China but not without, where the stiff liquor has yet to win over drinkers. The liquor in He Jian's painting is depicted with a nostalgic touch, and Wuliangye is a heritage brand as much a part of China's lived history as anything in history books.

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.

Wu Liang Ye (Chinese Wine)

五粮液

By HE Jian 由何剑创作
Display: in cm

25.4 x 30.5cm | Series of 100
$35.00 each  100 remaining
33.9 x 40.6cm | Series of 300
$59.00 each  299 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