Jiao Jian is a contemporary artist who works mainly with the photographic medium. In 1984, he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts, Crafts and Decorating from the Zhejiang Institute of Fine Art (now known as the China Academy of Art) in Hangzhou, China. He further pursued his post graduate studies in Visual Communication at the institute in 1992. In 1995, he enrolled in a photography course at the West Sydney Institute of Fine Art in Australia. Subsequently, he underwent a short-term master’s degree program in Photography held in conjunction between the Beijing Central Fine Art Institute (China) and the Queensland Fine Art Institute (Australia) in 1998. At present moment, he is an Associate Professor and Head of Photography Department at the Animation and Media Institute in the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou.
Jiao Jian’s initial practice during the early 1980s were mostly marked by experimental mixed media works that reflected the uncertainty of the modern world amidst rising political issues. He favored the use of collage as a medium to portray the universal, worldly themes he was deeply intrigued with. From the late 1980s onwards, he continued to further experiment with other mediums, painting close-up portraits of human figures and later on moving towards more abstract themes as opposed to the figurative works he was used to in his early years as an artist. He began to pursue photography professionally, expanding his interest in the medium that started from his childhood days. He explored different techniques including pinhole, digital and analogue photography, often processing film in the darkroom. In the series titled Fill the Void, Jiao Jian uses his own body as a means of expressing a certain kind of existential restlessness. His body, compressed and contorted into uneasy postures, takes the shape of gaps and empty spaces that have formed in various unidentified urban landscapes. The juxtaposition of his physicality against the hard concrete material of the featured architectural spaces suggest an uneasy tension, perhaps hinting at his own perception of the world around him.
Jiao Jian’s works have been exhibited at galleries, institutions and photography festivals including OFOTO Gallery (Shanghai, China), the China Academy of Art (Hangzhou, China), Liu Haisu Art Museum (Shanghai, China), TRIANGLE Gallery (London, UK), the 6th San Francisco International Photography Festival (San Francisco, USA) and China International Photography Festival (Pingyao, China).
- 2013, Let it Be, OFOTO Gallery, Shanghai, China
- 2012, Objects, Bottega Veneta Exhibition Hall, Shanghai China
- 2011, Wanxiang – China Art Academy Photography Exhibition, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China
- 2011, Lishui International Photo Festival – Unexperimental Visual Way, Lishui, China
- 2010, Visual Dialogue – Joint Workshop between Chinese and European Artists, Mingyuan Culture and Art Center, Shanghai, China
- 2010, Another Landscape, Inter Art Center and Gallery at 798 Art Zone Beijing, M50 epSITE Shanghai, China
- 2009, Drama/Stage, Urban Photography in Shanghai, Liu Haisu Art Museum, Shanghai, China
- 2008, Pink China Contemporary Art Exhibition, TRIANGLE Gallery, London, UK
- 2007, City Tale, Photography Exhibition, OFOTO Gallery, Shanghai, China
- 2007, Jiao Jian, Yan Shi Photography Exhibition, OFOTO Gallery, Shanghai, China
- 2005, Plentiful – China’s Contemporary Photography Exhibition, Art Scene Gallery, Shanghai, China
- 2005, CAN2005 Photography Exhibition, 6th San Francisco International Photography Festival, San Francisco, USA
- 2005, IT IS I, Gallerla Carla Sozzanl, Milan, Italy
- 2004, Jiao Jian Photography Exhibition, The Chinese Institute of Fine Art (New Media Art Department), Hangzhou, China
- 2003, IT IS I, China’s International Photography Festival, Pingyao, China
- 2001, Jiao Jian, Luo Yongjin, Zhang Baocheng Photography Exhibition, The Chinese Institute of Fine Art, Shanghai Branch Gallery, Shanghai, China
- 2000, Jiao Jian Photography Exhibition, Shanghai University Fine Art Institute Gallery, Shanghai, China
- 2000, Jiao Jian Photography Exhibition, The Chinese Institute of Fine Art Gallery, Hangzhou, China
- 1989, The Chinese Modern Art Exhibition, The Chinese Museum of Fine Art, Beijing, China
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Images of Artworks