Through his concern for the most insignificant subjects and the pertinence of his narrative framework, not a moment goes by where Yang Jian doesn’t use his artistic creation to stir up habitual experiences and the restrictions and stipulations imposed on daily life. At face value, this kind of joking and teasing – both theatrical and humorous at the same time – is diametrically opposed to a great many previous performance methods that related explicitly to Realpolitik. Oftentimes the artist constructs grotesqueness to reach the shore opposite to that of the truth. Either that or he uses randomness and coincidence to unfurl a vigorous, technical rhetoric, whereby he uncovers a logical revolt hidden beneath everyday appearances.
At first glance, Yang Jian’s artistic practice seems oriented towards a kind of “technical” rhetoric with regards to emotions or phenomena, when in actual fact it possesses a melancholic, novel-like core, as well as a montage-like attitude that is revealed when his work deals with specific incidents.
—in White Space Beijing (read more)