About

Xiaojing Yan   闫晓静

Artist Statement

The Chinese seeds of my art, rooted for fifteen years in Canadian soil, push their way up through the woven layers of my identity as a first-generation Chinese-Canadian. As these seeds push through the complexities of my immigrant experience into the creative work of my art, they become a bi-cultural lens of the natural world for what it’s like to balance between two cultures.

I start with materials rich in physical qualities (pine needles, seed pearls, Lingzhi mushrooms, cicada beetles, etc.), which also emanate religious, mythological and cultural connotations. Then I reinvent these within a contemporary aesthetic and presentation. I’m currently focused on how nature, an inherent force within traditional Chinese art, transcends culture.

In Spirit Cloud, I used freshwater pearls to create a large, oscillating shape that references both clouds and the Chinese lingzhi mushrooms. In Mountain of Pines, the hazy, mountain shapes famous in Chinese landscape paintings emerged as I wove thousands of pine needles through sheets of gauze. And if you looked closely at Song of the Cicada, where my suspended staircase links this world to the next, you’d see the structure made up of hundreds of cicada exuviate dipped in gold. this freedom of imagination lets me re-invent my bi-cultural identity that infused my earlier work.

After an idea takes hold of my imagination, the action plan can begin with the installation space, or the subject matter, or a personal element from my interior world. As the process unfolds, each step becomes an open-ended experiment where the material or method leads and I follow. I’m fascinated with the way technological advancement gives humans the illusion of power over nature. Now I’m playing with a range of collaborations between the human element and the natural element by designing a controlled, human environment that, over time, gives way to an organic process. When I create my lingzhi sculptures, I first put woodchips and lingzhi spore mixtures into the mold I created. With the control of humidity, temperature and light, lingzhi mycelium starts to grow. Once the lingzhi mycelium had bound the wood chips into the mold’s shape, I removed the mold and put the bonded mixture into a small greenhouse to let it keep growing. After a few weeks, the body of the roots began to grow and created their own transformative sculpture. The beginning of this hybrid science/art/ idiosyncratic/secular experiment satisfies me. I am no longer in control… nature is.  For me it’s important that each side of this equation has a chance to shine.

Along the way, new ideas and forms spontaneously announce themselves, which deepens the mystery of an artistic process that is at once under and beyond, my control. This makes me endlessly curious about how far I can go in aligning my human control with nature’s organic serendipity by focusing on “yi hua jie mu” 移花接木… the process of “stealthily grafting one twig onto another” until each encounter with the natural world reveals my contemporary, personal mythology of art’s transformative nature.

CV

Award/Grant:

2019   Concept to Realize Grant, Canada Council for the Arts
2018   OAAG Exhibition Installation and Design Award, Ontario Associate of Art Galleries
2018   Research and Creation Grant, Canada Council for the Arts
2018   Concept to Realize Grant, Canada Council for the Arts
2018   Chalmers Professional Development Projects Grant, Ontario Arts Council
2018   Artist Aboard Grant, Canada Council for the Arts
2018   Exhibition Grant, Ontario Arts Council
2017   Project Grant to Visual Artists, Canada Council for the Arts
2017   Exhibition Assistant Grant, Ontario Arts Council
2017   Mid-Career Artist Grant, Ontario Arts Council
2016   Chalmers Arts Fellowships, Ontario Arts Council
2016   Travel Grant, Canada Council for the Arts
2016   Exhibition Assistant Grant, Ontario Arts Council (2)
2015   Project Grant, Canada Council for the Arts
2015   Emerging Artist Grant, Ontario Arts Council
2014   Young Alumni Achievement Award, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA
2014   Exhibition Assistant Grant, Ontario Arts Council (3)
2013   Project Grant, Canada Council for the Arts
2013   Emerging Artist Grant, Ontario Arts Council
2013   Exhibition Assistant Grant, Ontario Arts Council (2)
2013   Mandarin Profile Awards, Fairchild TV, Canada
2012   Exhibition Assistant Grant, Ontario Arts Council (3)
2011    International Conference Travel Grant, College Art Association, New York, USA
2011    Exhibition Assistant Grant, Ontario Arts Council (3)
2011    Best of Show Award, Annual Juried Exhibition, The Latcham Gallery, Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
2010   Project Grant, Toronto Arts Council
2010   Exhibition Assistant Grant, Ontario Arts Council (2)
2009   Project Grant, Canada Council for the Arts
2009   Emerging Artist Grant, Ontario Arts Council
2009   Best of Show Award, 135th Annual Open Juried Exhibition, Ontario Society of Artists
2008   Emerging Artist Grant, Toronto Arts Council
2006   Graduate Student Research Grant, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA
2005   University Senate Travel and Research Grant, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA
2004   Merit Scholarship, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA
2004-2007   Graduate Fellowship, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA
2004   Dean’s Metal Award-for achieving the highest GPA, George Brown College, Toronto, Canada

Solo Exhibitions:

2019
TBD,  Art Gallery of Northumberland, Cobourg, ON Canada
Heaven And Earth,  Robert Langen Art Gallery at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON Canada
2018
In Suspended Silence, Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, BC Canada
Auspicious Omens, Suzhou Museum, Suzhou, China
2017
Between the Water and Mountains, Zhangjiagang Museum, Zhangjiagang, China
Out From Among the Tranquil Woods, Varley Art Gallery, Markham, ON Canada
Floating, Durham Art Gallery, Durham, ON Canada
Under the Willow Tree, Kontort Project Space, Katzman Contemporary, Toronto, ON Canada
2015
Hybrid Vigour, The Latcham Gallery, Stouffville, ON Canada
Cloud Cell, Red Head Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
New Growth-Breath in Unison, Orleans Gallery, Ottawa School of Art, ON Canada
2014
Red and White Melody, +15 WINDOW SPACE, Truck Contemporary Art Gallery, Calgary, AB Canada
Innocence & Experience, Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
2012
A Grasp of Shadows, Red Head Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
The Language of Life, Fairview Library Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
2011
New Growth, Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant, Brantford, ON Canada
Bridge, Artspace, Peterborough, ON Canada
Cloudscape, Exhibition in corresponding to Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Todmorden Mills Heritage  Museum, Toronto, ON Canada
2010  Shells, Cocoons and Clouds, IndexG Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
2009  Floating, Phoenix Art Gallery, Nanjing, China
2008  The Language of Life, Bluff Gallery, Scarborough Arts Council, ON Canada
2006  Transmigration and Spirit, thesis exhibition, Kipp Gallery, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, PA USA
2004  One person exhibition, Miller Gallery, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, PA USA

Public Art and Collections:

2018    Dwelling, City of Burlington Plain Road Public Art, ON Canada
2017    Sound of the Rain, Elora Centre for the Arts, Elora, ON Canada
2017    Nature’s Bounty, AquaBlu Condo Development at Town of Grimsby, ON Canada
2016    Moon Gate, Permanent Public Art Commissioned by Jinji Lake Art Museum, Suzhou, China
2013    Cloudscape, Seneca College, Toronto, ON Canada
2010    Reflection, Downtown Bike Rack design, City of Burlington’s Public Art Program, ON Canada

Special Projects:

2019
Biennale internationale du lin de Portneuf, Québec city, QC Canada
2018
The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea, Blackwood Gallery at the University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, ON Canada
Star Mountain IV, Ed Video at Platforms Project international art fair, The Cultural Centre,  Athens, Greece
Cloudscape, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, ON Canada
2017
Hologram Screen Public Art Project, Hanzhong Subway Station, Shanghai, China
2016
Idiorrhythmic: Canadian & Chinese Artists Urban Public Space Art Creation Project, Suzhou Industrial Park, Jinji Lake Museum, Suzhou, China
Moon Light – No Vacancy Contemporary Art Event, Burlington Art Gallery, ON Canada
2014
Cloud Cell, Featured project at Art Toronto-Toronto International Art Fair, Toronto, ON Canada
Critique – No Vacancy Contemporary Art Event, Village Square, Burlington, ON Canada
2013
Art Toronto-Toronto International Art Fair, Toronto, ON Canada
Dream State – No Vacancy Contemporary Art Event, The Waterfront Hotel, Burlington, ON Canada
Face to Face, Artist Project – Installation Zone, Better Living Centre, Toronto, ON Canada
2012  Focus Asia -Beyond Geography/ featured exhibition at Art Toronto-Toronto International Art Fair, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, ON Canada
2011   Face to Face, Come Up to My Room 2011, as part of Toronto International Design Festival(TIDF), The Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, ON Canada
2010   Mutation, City on the Move-Young Artist Festival, Don mill Subway Station, Toronto, ON Canada
2009   Mutation, City on the Move-Young Artist Festival, Kennedy Subway Station, Toronto, ON Canada

Selected Group and Two Person Exhibitions:

2019
Glimmers of the Radiant Real, Art Gallery of Peterborough, Peterborough, ON Canada
Glimmers of the Radiant Real, Mclntosh Gallery, London, ON Canada
2018
Incarnation, GAWA, New York, NY USA
Incarnation II, GAWA, Shanghai, China
Glimmers of the Radiant Real, the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, ON Canada
Convenience, 2018 Myseum Intersections Festival, Toronto, ON Canada
2017
Beijing International Jewelry Show, Beijing Institute of fashion Technology, Beijing, China
Into You: Fall in Deep, Humber Galleries North Space, Toronto, ON Canada
Into You: On the Edge, Humber Galleries L Space, Toronto, ON Canada
New White Door: Come in from the Cold, Gallery 50, Toronto, ON Canada (Mar)
Jus’ toyin’ around, curated by Douglas Lewis, Flatlander Studio, Winnipeg, MB Canada
2016
On The Occasion of An Event, Art Labor Gallery, Shanghai, China
2015
A Work of Heart, Forest Hill Jewish Centre, ON Canada
The Crafted, Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, Oakville, ON Canada
2014
Out Sourcing, University Museum at Nanjing University of Arts, Nanjing, China
The Red and the Black- The biennial World of Threads Festival, Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre, Joshua Creek, Oakville, ON Canada
Inside / Outside, ARC Gallery, Chicago, IL USA
INTREPID, Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
(Da bao)(Takeout), curated by Shannon Anderson and Douglas Lewis, Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC, Canada
2013
Inside/Outside, Blink gallery, Ottawa, QC Canada
(Da bao)(Takeout), curated by Shannon Anderson and Douglas Lewis, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg, MB Canada
Group Show, Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
2012
Inside/Outside, the Red Head Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
Material Connections, Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
(Da bao)(Takeout), curated by Shannon Anderson and Douglas Lewis, Art Gallery of Mississauga, ON Canada
(Da bao)(Takeout), curated by Shannon Anderson and Douglas Lewis, Varley Art Gallery, Markham, ON Canada
Bridging Cultures, two person show, curated by Lenore Burton, The Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts Centre, Collingwood, ON Canada
Colour and Form Biennial Art Exhibition, Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Art Centre, Toronto, ON Canada
2011
The View from Here: New Landscape, curated by Dawn Owen, Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, Guelph, ON Canada
Infinity, Sculptors Society of Canada, 83rd Anniversary Members’ Exhibition, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
Memory, Ontario Society of Artist 137th Annual Open Juried Exhibition, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
Instruments for Free Space: [TheUser] & Xiaojing Yan, Cambridge Galleries, Cambridge, ON Canada
Annual Juried Exhibition , Latcham Gallery, Stouffville, ON Canada
3rd Dimension, Sculptor’s Society of Canada, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
2010
Insomnia, The Redhead Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
Critical Mess-Member Show, Sculptor’s Society of Canada, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
Biannual Juried Exhibition, Grimsby Public Art Gallery, Grimsby, ON Canada
Recall – 25th Juried Exhibition, Scarborough Arts Council, ON Canada
Spring Fever, Scarborough Arts Council, ON Canada
Cause & Effect – 136th Annual Open Juried Exhibition, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
Lust, Canadian Sculpture Centre, Toronto, ON Canada
2009
Common Thread 2009, Biennial International Fiber Art & Craft Festival, Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre, Oakville, ON Canada
10th Annual Emerging Sculptors Exhibition, Sculptor’s Society of Canada, Canadian Sculpture Centre, Toronto, ON Canada
Untapped, Juried Exhibition, Artist Project, Toronto, ON Canada
The New Hybrids -Juried Exhibition in Mixed Media, The Living Arts Centre, Mississauga, ON Canada
Open Mind – Ontario Society of Artists 135th Annual Open Juried Exhibition, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
41st Open National Juried Show, Society of Canadian Artists, Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum, Toronto, ON Canada
2008
Color and Form Society Biennial Exhibition, Paper Mill Gallery, Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum, Toronto, ON Canada
35th Annual Juried Show, Art Gallery of Peel, Brampton, ON, Canada
Surface – Ontario Society of Artists 134th Annual Open Juried Exhibition, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
Open Juried Show, Beaux-art Brampton, Brampton, ON Canada
Sculpture Group Show, Ben Navaee Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
2006
Cross-Cultural Exchange, Robert Shaw Gallery, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, PA USA
Annual Graduate Juried Exhibition, University Museum, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, PA USA
2005
Three Rivers Art Festival, P.P.G. Wintergarden, Pittsburgh, PA USA
The Adirondack Chair: Transformation/Reinvention, University Museum, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA USA
Annual Graduate Juried Exhibition, University Museum, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, PA USA

Education:

2007  M.F.A. Sculpture, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, PA. USA
2004  Certificate Jewelry Essentials, George Brown College, Toronto, Canada
2000  B.F.A. Decorative Art, Nanjing Arts Institute, Jiangsu, China

Related Experience:

2018-Present    Art and Art History Program Advisory Committee,  Sheridan College, ON Canada
2017          Examiner, Thesis Committee,  Master of Fine Arts degree at University of Windsor, ON Canada
2016         Juror,  Ontario Arts Council Emerging Artist Grant
2010         Art Instructor, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey, BC Canada
2004-2006   Graduate Teaching Assistant, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, PA USA

Publication:

2018      Auspicious Omens, exhibition catalogue, Suzhou Museum, ISBN 9787547917183
2014      Innocence & Experience, exhibition catalogue, Lonsdale Gallery, ISBN 9780994782502
2010      Shells, Cocoons and Clouds, exhibition catalogue, IndexG Gallery
2009      The Confluence of East and West in Nestorian Art in China. Hidden Treasures and Intercultural Encounters – Studies on Syriac-Christianity in China and Central Asia, Eds. Dietmar W. Winkler and Li Tang, ISBN 9783643500458

Artist Talks/ Panel Discussions:

2018     OCAD University, Artist Talk, Toronto,  ON Canada
2018     Sheridan College,  Artist Talk, Oakville, ON Canada
2017     Varley Art Gallery, Artist Talk, Markham, ON Canada
2015     The Latcham Gallery, Artist Talk, Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
2015     Ottawa School of Art, Artist Talk, Orleans Gallery, ON Canada
2014     Lonsdale Gallery, Artist Talk, Toronto, Canada
2014     Surrey Art Gallery, Artists in Conversation, Laiwan, Zheng Shengtian, and Xiaojing Yan. Surrey, BC Canada
2012     The Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts Centre, Artist Talk, Collingwood, ON  Canada
2012     Varley Public Art Gallery, Panel Discussion, organized by Markham Arts Council and Diaspora Dialogues, ON Canada
2012     Varley Public Art Gallery, Artist Talk, Markham, ON Canada
2011     Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, Artist Talk, Guelph, ON Canada
2006    2nd Nestorian International Conference: Research on the Church of the East in China and Central Asia, Salzburg, Austria. Slides presentation: “The Confluence of East and West in Nestorian Art in China.”

Curatorial Project:

2017        2nd Idiorrhythmic: Canadian & Chinese Sculpture Creation Project, Zhangjiagang Museum, Zhangjiagang, China visit website
2016       Idiorrhythmic: Canadian & Chinese Artists Urban Public Art Creation Project , Suzhou Industrial Park, organizer: Jinji Lake Art Museum, Jiangsu Meijing Cultural Industry & Development Co., Ltd.  Participating Canadian artists:  Iain Baxter, Ian Carr-Harris, Yvonne Lammerich, Xiaojing Yan, Yam Lau, Nadia Myre , Alexandre David, Mani Mazinani, Scott Harbor.  Participating Chinese Artists: Wang Xubin, Shen Jianguo, Cao Lei, Chen Ping, Zhou Nianqing  visit website
2007   Ye Wei’s Chinese Landscape Painting, Kipp Gallery, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA