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Jiannan Wu

Country Love:I'm Telling You..., 2019
8" H x 6" W x 2.5" D
"Country Love:I'm Telling You..." is a sculpture from artist's “Country Love” series, which is a collection of color reliefs with the theme of daily life in rural areas in northeast China. In this series of sculptures, Jiannan Wu presents the "people" and "objects" in contemporary rural China from different angles to show the country culture in northeast China, especially the changes and new social relations out of the collision between foreign pop culture and the local traditional customs, and the anxiety about the localism and identity since the 1990s. Due to the special geographical features and history, northeast China has its unique landscape and cultural phenomena. Its plain, passionate, and humorous lifestyle, customs and language is beyond the region and popular in the whole nation. Jiannan Wu was born and grew up in northeast China, so he was immersed in this unique culture since his childhood. He was especially influenced by some performing arts such as sketch comedy and TV shows with northeast characteristics. In this series of works, referring to some classic characters from those comedy and TV shows, Jiannan Wu depicts vivid scenes of daily life, which contains the collective memory shared by the people of northeast China. In these narrative sculptures, Jiannan Wu solidifies an ongoing segment of the story scene into tableaux and inserts certain spice and thinking into it, conveying the life interest and vitality contained in the northeast rural culture with humorous and realism style. This series shows the enthusiasm, "black soil sentiment" and "local sentiment" of the northeastern people, highlights the aesthetic value and cultural value behind this lifestyle, and expresses the sculptor's belief and love in the beauty of living and human nature. Made of resin and wood and colored with acrylic, most works of this series are presented in small sized high relief with frames. Relief is a suitable format to present the space, to provide better concentrated experience, and to engage the viewer in an unfolding narrative. Some of the works have LED lighting projected internally to enhance the dramatic tension and sculptural nature. The black shadow box, mounted like a picture, is not only a method and tool for the presentation of the work, but also a part of the scene. It guides and limits the vision of the viewer, as if he sees the world through the eyes of others, and is also a symbol of "memory". The exploration of perspective in relief is also of interest to Jiannan Wu, that is, how to use perspective and color to express the sense of infinite depth of space in the compressed reliefs. In this way, Jiannan Wu is playing a little game using compressed spatial volume to make some illusion, which is different from the traditional three-dimensional sculptures. By putting “people” under his spotlight, Jiannan Wu focuses on the shaping of each character’s personality and details. Each scene in the work is a stage, and each character has his own audiences and the world.
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