• Vanitas - Han Zijian Solo Exhibition

    Artist: Han Zijian
    Opening: 2020.12.27 / 16:00 - 18:00
    Duration: 2020.12.27 - 2021.02.28 / 10:00 - 18:00 Daily Open
    Venue: OFOTO&ANART, 2F, Bldg.13, 50 Moganshan Rd., Shanghai, China

    Vanitas: Traces of the Distant

    by Yang Shuqing

    In Cezanné’s early still life paintings the skulls contrasts with fruits and wine jugs, reminding us of the necessity of death (momento mori in Latin). In “Monument”, Zijian juxtaposes the remains of life, the skeletons alongside apples and the mountain. The dark color tunes, the primitive and hard texture of the sculpture with its rough surface accentuate the different traces of time which is crystalized into a monument. In Cezanné’s “Pyramids of Skulls”, human skulls are stacked together like apples, whose hollow eye sockets capture our vision. In front of the work, there is no escape from the atmosphere of death. Cezanné had been wrestling with a question all his life, i.e., the depth and voluminosity of things. Zijian’s skeletons reflects this question. The indented sockets points to the distant abyss, and yet refuse to be penetrated by the rational perspective. The tensional relation between distance and nearness can also be observed in “Things far away”, with those small objects dimishing and leaving behind traces of self-withdrawal.

    “The Bather”, the largest work of the exhibition, is Zijian’s reinterpretation of Cezanné’s equivalent. The bather is emerging from the distance, his head tilting in a pensive gesture with closed eyes. The footsteps are like a string of beads of ancient time which open up the deep and distant space of wasteland around the bather.