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With Love, from the Island

Jess Xiaoyi Han
26 Jan - 2 Mar, 2024
Water #1 (2023) by Jess Xiaoyi Han
Water #1 (2023) by Jess Xiaoyi Han

SENS Gallery is pleased to announce “With love, from the island”, a solo exhibition showcasing new paintings by Chinese artist Jess Xiaoyi Han. The exhibition will take place from 26 January to 2 March 2024. The exhibition marks the artist’s first solo exhibition with SENS Gallery following her participation in the gallery’s inaugural group exhibition “Narratives in Blossoming Vigor” in October 2022.

‘With love, from the island’ is a selection of new works highlighting Han’s visual spirituality. The exhibition’s title is a reference to the artist’s recent trip to Hawaii, where the colourful tropics and culture of the islands provide inspiration into the energy and flamboyance exuded in her paintings. The language expressed on the canvas consists of ribbon-like elements, fluctuating in form against the vivid backdrops to create emotional sensations. Using alkyd on canvas, these luminous paintings are saturated with vibrant colour palettes to emulate the versatile elements that occupy the surrounding space. The flow of these elements on the canvas envision an otherworldly image, coming in tandem to visualize the manifestations of the artist’s feelings and experiences. In works like Hero’s journey (2023) and Starlite (in Kona) (2023), the string-like elements twirl across the canvas, forming into the shape of a dragon-like creature. Here, the creature perhaps becomes a personification of the artist’s feelings in the moment.

Akin to a nucleus, a rotund sun gravitates in the centre of these exuberant concoctions, encompassed between colourful strands to represent the core of these inner thoughts and feelings. Prominent throughout her work, Han describes these as stream of consciousness paintings, allowing her subconscious to take over the canvas. Embedded between the striking tendrils and twines are vaguely recognizable symbols – symbols such as heart shapes, pearls, and suns – are an amalgamation of forms that place a sense of order and boundary within the chaos of the work. In the larger scale work I thought I saw an angel (2023), vivid strings dance within a tense composition, surrounding their movements around the pearl-like sun that subtly dominates the canvas.

The artist’s expressionistic style is dynamic in nature, synergizing these free-flowing elements to create an emanating, illusionistic chaos. Han conceives a wonder of mysticism, with each colour and line collectively forming to create wondrous landscapes that evoke a chaotic harmony between elements. The spontaneity of these forms is a reflection of the artist’s own identity, where each new work tells a narrative in the different phases of her life. The viscera of elements that metamorphosize in Han’s canvases derive from a variety of artistic influences, including the biomorphic forms of Agnes Pelton (1881-1961), the abstract expressionism of Elaine de Kooning (1918-1989), and the imaginary compositions of Yves Tanguy (1900-1955).

“With love, from the island” is an invitation to traverse the inner transcendental universe that reflects the thoughts and experiences of Jess Xiaoyi Han. Her paintings are emotional and psychological expressions of the human experience, envisioned through bright and cheerful colours that weave the fabric of her visual style.