kontort project space
Under The Willow Tree

On View: January 7 to February 11
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 7 from 2 to 5 p


Artist Statement:
The willow tree represents strength and stability; its structure and trunk stands firm to withstand the greatest of challenges. Its branches are flexible and strong; they bend without breaking. The willow tree gives us a sense of belonging, safety, hope, and healing. In traditional visual depictions of the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin, she is often shown seated on a rock with a willow branch in a vase of water at her side. It is believed that the willow branch has the power to ward off evil spirits.

The cicada is an insect thought to live only on wind and rain drops; it symbolizes the simple life and an incorruptible personality in ancient Chinese literature. Since it lives underground for years before shedding its skin, the cicada is considered a magical creature, and it is believed that it can connect the three realms of heaven, earth, and humanity; it is regarded as a symbol of rebirth and immortality.” – Xiaojing Yan (2016)

For more information on the opening reception, please visit our Facebook event page.

Artist Biography:
Xiaojing Yan is an artist who has migrated from China to North America, and both her identity and work pass through the complex filters of different countries, languages, and cultural expectations. Making art is a transmigration of Xiaojing’s ideas, and physical presence. Xiaojing has education from both the eastern and western worlds, with a B.F.A in decorative art, Nanjing Art Institute, Jiangsu, China, as well as a M.F.A in sculpture from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Xiaojing’s sculptures have been exhibited in galleries and museums in China, Canada, and United States. Xiaojing is the recipient of numerous grants including most recently a Chalmers Arts Fellowship from the Ontario Arts Council. Congratulations to Xiaojing for her recent public installation, Moon Gate, commissioned by and part of the permanent collection of the Jinji Lake Art Museum (Suzhou).

For additional information, or to inquire about this exhibition, preview opportunities, and/or general gallery questions, please contact: info@katzmancontemporary.com.

Xiaojing Yan is represented by LONSDALE GALLERY. Under The Willow Tree is generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council.