A Garden Window was published in conjunction with A Garden Window, a joint exhibition of Lin Yan and Wei Jia at Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery in Hong Kong. Lin Yan and Wei Jia are based in Brooklyn, New York. The two artists grew up in China, and although their individual artistic development took them along different paths, they nevertheless arrived at the same preferred material: Chinese traditional Xuan paper. The two artists bring this centuries-old material into the present, each in their own unique manner. Lin Yan creates transformative in situ installations; Wei Jia employs an intensely process-oriented method of collage. The resulting works are stunning, and while they remain stylistically distinct from one another, there is nevertheless a common spirit that emanates from the work of these two artists – a sensibility that goes beyond the material. This exhibition seeks to open a window to this shared spirit between Lin Yan and Wei Jia.
Within the evolving material culture of traditional Chinese art, Lin Yan and Wei Jia offer a fresh look at their chosen material, traditional Xuan paper. As this exhibition shows, however, neither artist is pre-occupied with tradition; it is part of myriad qualities that make up their artistic and personal identities. Growing up in China, educated abroad, and often traveling internationally, the two artists are enmeshed within an increasingly global art scene. Remarkably, however, they maintain down-to-earth, unhurried lives. Wei Jia spends his mornings in the greenery of nearby Prospect Park; Lin Yan finds inspiration in subtle architectural peculiarities on her daily commute to her studio. It is the effortless, seamless manner by which they infuse these daily life experiences into their art that makes it so authentic, and so compelling. Among the Zen-like, meditative works of Wei Jia and the deeply personal, yet socially conscious works of Lin Yan, we are given the chance to peer through a window into the complexity of their shared spirit.