In Jian Jun An’s paintings, Expressionism and Realism meet in works that combine what the artist calls “the lifeblood essence left on me by Oriental culture” with the freedom and vitality of Western art. Born in China, the artist moved to Canada, where he still lives and works, in 2005. Working in acrylics on canvas, he employs a flowing sense of line and bold color combinations to make images that reflect his cultural influences while moving into a territory all their own. The precision of calligraphic characters can be seen in the strokes of paint the artist uses. However, by incorporating those strokes into intricate webs that take on many forms—from the abstract to the surprisingly realistic—he gives a new essence to that style, making it something completely modern.
The artist’s method recreates a variety of environments and moods. While in some images, spontaneous, boisterous lines convey positive energy and delight in movement for its own sake, in others the mixture of color and line takes on a subtler, more relaxed tone, depicting quietly observed scenes that still carry a strong emotional charge. He says that allowing memories to return to life is one goal of his work, and his images powerfully take us into that internal world.