Wang Jianan 王迦南 (b. 1955)

Born in 1955 in Heilongjiang Province, North China, Wang Jianan entered the esteemed Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing at the age of 23. Upon graduating in 1982, he progressed to establish the first post-cultural revolution independent professional art studio in Beijing.  During this time, he embarked on a career as a teacher at the Academy, in the Chinese painting department. 1987 saw a migration to London with his artist wife, Cai Xiaoli, and the couple proceeded to participate in exhibitions throughout continental Europe. As a youth, Wang grew in the midst of social discord (courtesy of the Cultural Revolution) and witnessed the effects that propaganda and a callous doctrine had on the artistic sphere. However, his entrance to University at 23 was untainted by asphyxiated ideals (heralded by the death of Mao Zedong in 1976), bestowing freedom of aesthetical development for the artist. Yet, the recently battered dissension remained a secondary theme that would influence his artistic progression. 

Wang Jianan’s paintings have liberated the artist from his conflicting desires, by effectively mingling two distinct wants: The need for Wang Jia’nan to preserve the culture and historical intimacies of his homeland, and concurrently, to pursue and peruse the freethinking, innovative habits of the Western world. The sense of dislocation, derived from the artist’s move to Europe, was fundamental to the growth of his later series of works, and elucidates the disarray of colours and textures in his paintings; reflecting the social and emotional pandemonium felt by the world of the diaspora.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

  • 2004 | Freedom of Spirit: Wang Jia’nan, Midland Arts Centre, Birmingham, England, UK
  • 2001 | The Paintings of Wang Jianan, Goedhuis Contemporary, London, UK
  • 1993 | Manchester Art Centre, England, UK
  • 1992 | Gallery John Jones, London, UK
  • 1992 | Pilscheur Fine Art, London, UK
  • 1988 | Gallery Art East & Art West, Hamburg, Germany
  • 1988 | Gallery Ilse Lommel, Leverkusen, Germany

Selected Exhibitions with Cai Xiaoli

  • 2018 | Taimiao Art Museum of Imperial Ancestral Temple, China
  • 2014 | Magnificent Light, Yujing No. 1, Guangdong, China
  • 2013 | Henan Art Museum, China
  • 2012 | National Art Museum of China, China
  • 1999 | Gallery Gemini, Munchen, Germany
  • 1999 | Kaikodo, New York, United States
  • 1996 | Nature in China, Goedhuis Contemporary, London
  • 1995 | Museum Van Rossum, Amsterdam, Holland
  • 1995 | Art in Action, International Arts Festival, Oxford, England
  • 1994 | Anxintang Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1993 | Art in Action, International Arts Festival, Oxford, England
  • 1993 | Pilscheur Fine Art, London
  • 1992 | Hong Kong Art Centre, Hong Kong
  • 1990 | Art East & Art West Gallery, Hamburg, Germany
  • 1989 | Beer Shaba Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2017 | Painting and Calligraphy, Ink Hedong Art Park, China / Clouds Scud Across, Ink Hedong Art Park, China
  • 2001 | China without Borders, Goedhuis Contemporary at Sotheby’s, New York
  • 1999 | Contemporary Chinese Painting Exhibition, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 1997 | Contemporary Chinese Painting Exhibition, Michael Goedhuis, London
  • 1994 | Three Persons Exhibition, Suffolk Art Gallery, Suffolk, England
  • 1988 | Contemporary Chinese Painting Exhibition, Royal Festival Hall, London
  • 1986 | Beijing Artist’s Exhibition, Chinese National Fine Arts Museum, Beijing, China
  • 1986 | The Sixth National Art Exhibition of China, Chinese National Fine Arts Museum, Beijing, China
  • 1986 | Zhong Li Art Studio Exhibition of New Ceramics, Chinese National Fine Arts Museum, Beijing, China
  • 1982 – 1986 | Annual Group Exhibition, Chinese National Fine Arts Museum, Beijing, China


  • 1989 | Watercolor Painting Prize, Royal Academy of Arts / Harmony Inheritance Award, Beijing Harmony Culture Inheritance Foundation / Outstanding Works Awards, Beijing Art Academy
  • 1984 | Excellent Works Award, 6th National Art Exhibition of China

Artwork Images




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