A digital archive of Asian/Asian American contemporary art history

Jain, Vandana

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"I am presenting works in a variety of different media, executed over the last two years. They range from mathematically drawn and patterned gouaches to assemblages of found objects and the more recent collages of collected paper goods. What they all share is their playful nature, a folk sensibility and a stylized representation of the figure/landscape.

The earlier gouache paintings are an exploration of geometry, pattern and color. Executed upon my return from a six-month sojourn in India, they are full of my interpretation of Hindu pagan gods and archetypes as well as an exploration of folk Indian aesthetics. I wanted to create icons that were both meditative and narrative, both abstract and ground. The faces in these paintings are in perfect balance with the pulsating patterns, allowing for both the figure and the ground to carry equal visual weight.

The sculptures came about at the same time as the gouaches. Cobbled together from found objects and other collected materials, these cast-offs from our disposable culture are given life as assemblages. Drawing in spirit from cornhusk dolls and bottle cap sculptures of American folk art, these figures are created almost as a pastime, with the primary urge to make something beautiful out of extraneous waste. Ideally meant to be seen without either pedestal or glass case, these sculptures are humble strivings towards beauty.

Most recently, I have started creating collaged landscapes from cutouts of found paper. These compositions are executed with the playful spirit of children’s drawings, but the materials used allow for a greater level of sophistication. Words and imagery from the found paper goods coincide with the basic shapes of the cutout paper dolls and the other figurative elements. What results is a playful, pseudo-anthropological reconstruction of our cultural values, as seen from our droppings."

Vandana Jain, Artist Statement, [2005]

Gallery of Selected Works

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