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Daydreams, Installation view
Daydreams, Installation view
Calmly Observing, 2003
Harvest of Power, 2003
Spiritual Consolation: Floating Silk Thread, 2003

Daydreams marks this young artist's debut solo exhibition. As a pupil of Lu Shengzhong, the foremost paper-cut artist working in China today, Wu Jian'an developed an interest in this traditional medium, not only from an academic point of view but as a medium capable of a wide range of expressive possibilities.

Wu Jian'an has given a vivid description of the circumstances that led to the creation of the ambitious series of paper-cuts included in the present exhibition. Afraid to go out during the SARS epidemic, he reached for his scissors one day and cut a small smiling head that relieved his sense of isolation and depression. "It is as if they were my doubles," he said. "To be more precise, they were the manifestation of a positive attitude, and together we were on guard against the virus. No matter whether it was day or night, they were always smiling. Sometimes, I just sat quietly across from them and communicated with them silently. Then I would use my scissors to provide them with new companions."

The works in the current exhibition are remarkable for their virtuosity and wildness. Employing a wide variety of symbolic forms to describe the inner turmoil of his mind during this terrifying moment when SARS seemed to be unstoppable, Wu Jian'an's paper cuts differ from the more orderly world of his mentor, Lu Shengzhong, in their sinuosity and anarchic sense of humor. It is as if the hallucinogenic vision of Salvador Dali and the spatial inventiveness of M.C.Escher have been reduced to maze-like ribbons of paper, flattened and mounted on sheets of colored paper. Dazzling and high-spirited, they nevertheless emerged at a moment not unlike today when the threat of bird flu looms large.

Art in China today is multi-faceted. Oil painting, conceptual, photography and multi-media work prevail in international exhibitions. Less well-known outside China is the flourishing world of paper-cut that has moved beyond its original decorative purposes in Chinese society to deal with social, moral and philosophical issues. Lu Shengzhong paved the way and Wu Jian'an, formerly his pupil and now colleague, is poised to develop his own, highly idiosyncratic use of scissors and paper.

*Catalogue Available.

邬建安2004年毕业于中央美术学院。他进校的时候正是传统美术专业与美术史系合并的时候,当时他对传统皮影戏的研究有很大兴趣。他是吕胜中这位中 国当代最着名的剪纸艺术家的学生,于是也渐渐对这种艺术媒体产生了兴趣,不仅从学术角度对它进行研究,还将它发展成为了抒发自己各种情感的工具。

邬建安生动地描述了自己创作剪纸艺术的初衷。在非典的恐惧下,他被迫待在自己的小房间里。一天,他拿出剪刀,剪出了一个面带微笑的小人,释放了心中孤独和压 抑的感觉。他说:“他们就像我的分身一样,准确地说,是积极态度的化身,和我一起警惕着可能出现的病毒。不管白天还是黑夜,一直微笑着。有时候,我就静静 地和他们面对面坐着,不说话地沟通一两个小时,然后拿起剪刀为他们添加新的成员。" 添加的结果,就是这次展览所展出的与众不同的作品。

这此展览所展出的作品因其原创性及狂野性而独特。在非典蔓延的恐怖中,邬建安用各种象徵性的形状及造型,来表达自己内心的起伏。他的剪纸作品蜿蜒曲折,同时 充满了幽默,与他的老师吕胜中作品的平和及秩序迥然不同。他们好像达利(Salvador Dali)的幻像画面和艾时尔(M.C. Escher)的空间魔术在白纸黑底上重生,成为迷宫般的图案。他们丰富眩目而又积极乐观,却产生于一个黑色的类 似于今天笼罩全球的禽流感威胁的时期。

中国的艺术是多样性的。国际艺术展里,可以经常看到各种中国油画,观念艺术,摄影,和多媒体艺术作品。相比之下,剪纸艺术的发展──从原有的装饰性转变为反 映中国的社会,价值,观念等问题的形式──却鲜为人知。吕胜中最先开始尝试这种转变。邬建安曾经是吕胜中的学生,现在是他的同事。他用剪刀和纸张创造了自 己强劲而独特的风格。