Tales from the Forbidden City

JIA Juan Li
09 Sep - 25 Sep 2005
Hong Kong

Connoisseur is proud to present "Tales from the Forbidden City", the fourth solo exhibition of highly esteemed female contemporary Chinese artist JIA Juan Li. JIA's works represent a harmonious fusion of Chinese culture with western oil painting technique, vividly capturing the exuberance and beauty of her subjects. Her experience of once living in the proximity of the Forbidden City leads her into a dreamy world of imagination from which springs a source of inspiration for her art. Fascinated by the splendor of Qing Dynasty court life, JIA creates compelling portraitures of Qing noble ladies with beautiful yet contemplative faces, capturing the elegance of a bygone era. Inspired by the delicate artifacts and surroundings of the Imperial Palace, JIA depicts atmospheric scenes of daily life at court, highlighting the decorative aspects of the Palace with her brushstrokes, and at times setting them against a backdrop of antique screens of floral motif that serves to compare with the females. The court ladies under JIA's paintbrush are mysterious, distant and still; the audience is allowed only a glimpse into their lives. The more symbolic and transcendental garden scenes present the audience with fairy tales left untold. In such scenes, weightless, elegant females become intertwined with the natural paradise of fragrant flowers and singing birds, dissolving into a lyrical mist with JIA's palette, expressing the artist's feminine sensitivity and otherworldly sentiments, as well as her love for nature and freedom. JIA was born in Hangzhou, China in 1960. She received her BFA from the renowned Sichuan Academy of Fine Art and her MFA with first class honour from the prestigious Central Academy of Fine Arts, in 1996 she was awarded a two-year full scholarship from the French Government to study at the Ecole d'Art d'Aix-en-Provence. An award-winning artist, she was the recipient of the Prix de L'Auteurs dans les Arts Graphiques et Plastiques, Prix International d'Art Contemporain de Monte Carlo in 2004. Currently based in Paris, JIA is one of the most renowned and recognized Chinese artists today. Her works have been auctioned by Christie's as well as China Guardian Auction, and are much sought-after by both museums and private collectors.