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HE JIAN | 何剑

  • Lives in: Chongqing
He Jian (b. 1978) was born in Guang Yuan, Sichuan province, and graduated from oil painting department of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. His distinctive style is based on the frescoes of Yongle temple in Shanxi province. In the "Mass Consumption" series, begun in 1999, He Jian utilizes traditional modeling methods, particularly those of the hands and feet depicted in those centuries-old frescoes, to create a sharp satire of modern life. He Jian's figures smoke, gamble, drink, and sing at karaoke parlors in vulgar displays of contemporary wealth and excess, but do so in the visual vernacular of ancient China, their stylized bodies instantly recognizable to students of traditional Chinese art history.

For his witty visual combination of ancient and contemporary, He Jian graduated with distinction, and continued on as a lecturer in the oil painting department of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. Since graduating, He Jian has received increasing attention from the international art world, participating in many shows in China and abroad, as well as signing with a well-known gallery. Because his practice and education have been so firmly rooted in Sichuan, he is frequently exhibited with his Sichuan-based contemporaries, together considered the new face of the Sichuan school of painting.


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.


1978Born in Guangyuan, Sichuan
2000Bachelor's Degree in Chinese Painting from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute
2002-presentAssistant lecturer of the Chinese Painting Department of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute.
Solo Exhibitions
2005"Living in the World", Art Seasons, Beijing, Singapore
Group Exhibitions
2009"Water and Color" Contemporary Ink Art Show, Today Art Museum,Beijing
2008"Brush and Ink Strategies", Qingdao Art Museum,Qingdao
"Post Traditional",ART+Gallery, Shanghai
2007"Face East", Robischon Gallery, USA
Sichuan School of Painting 30 Years, Beijing
Word of Mouth from the Four Corners" The 3st Guiyang Biennial Art Exhibition, Guizhou
2006"The Self-made Generation: A Retrospective of New Chinese Painting" Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art,Shanghai
2004ART Singapore 2004, Singapore
"L’un, L’autre" Contemporary Art Exhibition, Toulouse, France
"Ideal of New Generation" Chinese New Generation Artist Award Exhibition, He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen
"Realistic Dreamland", Shanghai
"New Wave", China Art Seasons, Beijing
2003"Chongqing Chillis", USA
International Exchange Exhibition Between China and Korea, Chongqing Art Museum, Chongqing
Changing Faca---Work Exhibition of Three, USA
Winter @ Art Seasons, Art Seasons, Beijing
2002Art in History and Today, Opening Exhibition of Chongqing Art Museum, Chongqing
2001"Chongqing Chillis", Kassel, Kulturbahnhofs, Germany
Huang Binhong Prize for New Sprouts of Chinese Painting, Beijing
“Models- Paintings on the Frame”, The 1st Chengdu Biennial Art Exhibition, Chengdu Contemporary Art Museum, Chengdu
"Renew China - New Look of Chinese Painting from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute", Soobin Art Gallery, Singapore
The 9th Chinese Art Show of Chongqing, Chongqing
1999"Calm Existence", The Art Museum of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing