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The mind's eye

By Zhang Zixuan (China Daily)

09:21, May 28, 2012

Jiao Xiaojian's works focus on the relationship between sight and perception in his portrayals of ordinary scenes of southern China. Zhang Zixuan reports.

The vividness of 56-year-old Jiao Xiaojian's eyes match that of the works displayed in his first solo exhibition, Eyes of Things, at the Chinese Academy of Oil Painting in Beijing.

The oil painting instructor at the China Academy of Art in Zhejiang province's capital Hangzhou places before the eyes of viewers 126 oil paintings and sketches he has created from 1995 to 2011 - none of which even his closest friends have seen before.

He paints the simplest everyday scenes of Hangzhou that many might find too trivial to frame. Such imagery includes multiple versions of the same subjects, including his wife, garlic cloves, a particular tree and dilapidated rooftops seen from his window.

He says it was a weighty decision for him to stage his first solo exhibition based on such a concept - one he finalized after visiting exhibitions in the US and Europe.

"It's so convenient for people to 'see' in such an advanced age of imagery, but it's difficult for them to capture the instant beauty at the moment they see," Jiao says.

Jiao creates in his dorm in Jingyun village near Hangzhou's West Lake and his studio on Town God Hill.

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