Chambers is delighted to present the latest examples of Wu Jian’an’s ongoing series 500 Brushstrokes, on which work commenced in 2016. The abstract formal language characteristic of these works came as a considerable surprise to Wu’s admirers as until then there had been a strong element of figuration in all his major series of paper cuts from 2003 onwards with the series known as Daydreams. Alongside the works from this series, we will also feature a paper-cut piece entitled Shapeshifting Diety, created using Wu Jian'an's signature waxed paper-cut figures that are hand-dyed and then stitched onto a silk background.
Born in Beijing in 1980, Wu Jian’an graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Art (CAFA) Beijing in 2005 and currently lives and works there. While studying at the Academy under Lu Shengzhong whose early studies of Chinese folk-art led to a life-long involvement with the traditional craft of paper cut, Wu conceived of ways in which this technique might be used in ways that would have been unimaginable to its original practitioners. His technique evolved from the silhouetting of complicated paper cut-outs against monochromatic sheets of paper to the use of multiple layers of paper of different colors resulting in low-relief effects. Throughout this period his paper cutting skills gained in complexity as his enthusiasm for Chinese mythological themes and esoteric imagery from all over the world became all-consuming, culminating in the process used in the Shapeshifting Diety.
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