Born 1970, Zhengzhou, China
Lives and works in Guangzhou, China
Duan Jianyu's large-scale paintings present incongruous scenarios drawing on a wide range of sources from Western art history, classical Chinese painting, and imagery of traditional rural life. Her paintings parody a masculine, colonialist vision through erotically charged imagery and humour. In works such as her recent 'Sharp, Sharp, Smart' series she uses a faux-naïve style that suggests both Revolutionary Realism and the French Barbizon school, to portray rural peasant women carrying giant geese with snaking, phallic necks. Her references to these diverse styles intimate the reception and interpretation of European modernist ideas in China following the Cultural Revolution. It also reflects the imbalances that occur between urban and rural, tradition and modernity in a society that continues to undergo enormous change.