Jia Aili: The Dharma Bums

This exhibit features the work of Jai Aili, a Chinese artist, and was curated by prominent Beijing-based art critic Feng Boyi. Zhao Fang, director of the Fang Yin Gallery, will have a conversation with Jia Aili on Tuesday, September 7 at noon in the gallery. Living and working in Beijing, Jia Aili narrates private moods rather than public events of modern day China. His intense and emotionally charged work reflects the individual's vulnerability in a rapidly changing society.

About the Artist:

In my fantasies I often feel that I am standing on the Golden Section, and than I draw a horizon; I’m actually facing the Yalu River and North Korea is miles away. This is the hometown of my childhood, Dandong. Memories from the 1980s and 1990s embrace stories in wide, open and empty spaces, our school, our playground and the land. My schooling, lessons of religion, and even my family background evoke specific representations of time and place. My grandfather is a Communist Party member whose shelves were filled with the yellow paperbacks of Lenin and Marx. Handling those books I barely looked at the text, I was fascinated by the pictures that consumed a part of my youth. As I grew older the radical changes in Eastern Europe seemed to be a joke to me. Yet we were hit by a real aftershock, gradually, to learn what had fallen. Later I began to question and believe that we students at that time were just were like the objects in an experiment, like the one which boils a frog with warm water, really just like a nightmare. I didn’t want to be caught up in such nightmares, yet your body just couldn’t help…

-- Jia Aili

Cosponsored by the Cornell Council for the Arts
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