Curator: He Yongmiao

Academic Preside: Quan Zi

Academic Guest: Xia kejun

Duration: 2023.6.11 - 7.16

Venue: Renke Art Gallery, No.1 North Zhongshan Rd., Hangzhou

Yang Jian, as one of the representative poets of modern Chinese poetry, began his painting career in the early 21st century. Intention and strong spiritual symbolism are the typical aesthetic features of his painting art. “The highest poetic quality can create the highest form of art” (Yang Jian). With extraordinary insight, he re-excavates and explores words and objects in poetry and painting, hoping to find new nature and poetry in an age dominated by material desires.

The Countenance of Chinese Language 

authored by Quanzi


Yang Jian is an extremely important poet in contemporary Chinese.


Yang Jian’s special significance lies in the fact that he is probably the first contemporary Chinese poet who has consciously taken on the mission of restoring the traditional Chinese language, and who has tirelessly carried out this endeavour.


Yang Jian once remarked that all of his poems are essentially the same. 


So are his paintings.


Throughout history, poets have written essentially the same poem. When we look through the mists of language and time, we glimpse the immutable Tao and the inward heart that is full of a hundred sentiments.


It is precisely the identification and persistence in the “Taoist Heart” that distinguishes Yang Jian as Yang Jian. It is the way that leads us to his poetry and paintings. Furthermore, the “Taoist Heart” is also the deeper secret of what makes the Chinese language Chinese, what makes Jiangnan Jiangnan, and what makes this human world human.


Yang Jian should have been the confidant of Wang Wei, Li Cheng, Recluse of Tungpo, Ni Yunlin, Shitao and the Eight Eccentrics. 


Reading Yang Jian’s paintings reminds me of the mantras in esoteric Buddhism. Each repetition is a new invention, and there seems to be an endless source of true energy and power, making for an excellent example of using the few to defeat the many.


Perhaps such a statement is still biased, “And what victory is there to be had?”


Perhaps all true art and artists are completing the journey towards their original and ideal selves.


As the poet Louise Glück said, “We look at the world once, in childhood. The rest is memory,” and as the painter Zao Wou-Ki said, “Art is a way of looking.” Such a way of looking requires the participation of the heart, which opens up to all art through the guidance of a similarly sensitive heart - a path that leads to art.


Perhaps the special beauty of Yang Jian’s poetry and art is the fact that all his language and colors are invariably fused into one such container: a container of emptiness, of nothingness, of the Tao and of the heart.


It is the encounter with these containers that allows us to see the countenance of the Chinese language once again.

Yang Jian’s Resume




Yang Jian, born in 1967 and currently lives in Ma’anshan, Anhui Province. He began writing poetry since the 1980s. Yang Jian is considered one of the representative poets of modern Chinese poetry. He has been awarded the Liu Lian Poetry Award, the Johor Poetry Award, the Annual Poet Award of the Chinese Literature Media Award, etc. 


He is the author of the poetry collections “Twilight”, “The Ancient Bridge”, “Ashamed”, “the Weeping Temple”, “Selected Poems of Yang Jian” and “Long River”, as well as the English poetry collections “Long River” (Tinfish Press, 2018) and “Green Mountain” (The University of Hawaii Press, 2020). 


In the field of painting, Yang Jian has devoted himself to the study of ink-wash techniques and has created a unique style. His works have been collected by various private art museums and institutions, including the Shenzhen Guan Shanyue Art Museum, the Shiyuan Art Museum, the Yushan Contemporary Art Museum, Librairie Avant-Garde, and the Beijing Taihe Art Gallery.



Yang Jian’s Ink Painting Solo Exhibitions


2011 Ink Art of Yang Jian, Museum of After Art, Nanjing

2013 Face of Dao, Today Museum, Beijing

2014 Cold Mountain, Guan Shanyue Art Museum, Shenzhen

2015 Cold Mountain, Yushan Contemporary Museum, Changshu

2018 Sadness and Emptiness, Current Art Gallery, Binzhou

2021 Cloth Shoes and Giving Bowl, White Horse Temple Shiyuan Art Museum, Luoyang

2022 Fly Heavier Than Air, The Wuxi Light Is Dust Art Museum, Wuxi

2022 Hanging In Void, Librairie Avant-Garde, Nanjing




Yang Jian’s Ink Painting Group Exhibitions




Shanghai New Ink Art Exhibition, 

Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai



Infra-Thin Landscape,

Ming Yuan Contemporary Museum, Shanghai



Contemporary Art Forum “Black and White Evolution” Exhibition, Emei Mountain



The Second Nanjing International Art Exhibition, Ink Theme Exhibition

Nanjing International Exhibition Center, Nanjing



Grand Canal International Poetry Festival and Contemporary Poet Book Exhibition

Xiling Gallery, Hangzhou



Contempt and Sigh

Yushan Contemporary Museum, Changshu



New Humanities Painting, Five People Exhibition

Yushan Contemporary Museum, Changshu



Sublimit and thinking:Daozi, Shen Weihuang, Yang Jian, 

Yushan contemporary Museum, Changshu



Spiritual Return - Chinese Contemporary Poet Painting Exhibition

China Century Altar, Beijing



The Rule of Freedom - the Trend of Chinese Contemporary Ink to Europe

Italy Canizares Museum



Art Shenzhen 2018 

No.6 Hall, Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center , Shenzhen



From Dust to Shine

Xingyun Culture and Education Museum Art Museum, Shanghai



Born Again - Hong Ling and Yang Jian Joint Art Exhibition

Horizon Art Museum, Hefei



Transformation: From Neo- Literati Painting to Neo-Popular Painting - Dong Xinbin, Bian Xuesong, Zhu Jianzhong, Yang Jian Joint Exhibition

Yushan Contemporary Art Museum, Changshu



Art Shenzhen 2019 

No.6 Hall, Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center , Shenzhen



Ink and Things: The 2nd Wuhan Ink Art Biennale

Wuhan Art Museum



Art Shenzhen 2020 

No.6 Hall, Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center , Shenzhen