Swedish artist Janeric Johansson’s solo exhibition “Light Fight Night”
Janeric Johansson has since 1999 established a deep friendship with artists, scholars and young people in Yunnan. He has arranged five solo art exhibitions in Kunming and Simao, by using the TCG Nordica gallery in Kunming Loft as his platform.
Through the unique view of his works, his exhibitions have made a lasting impact on the audience. The passionate elaborations have been met with a tremendous response from the art community.
Janeric Johansson worked as the Gallery Director of TCG Nordica for a year in 2004 and 2005. He has in addition planned and curated a series of important exhibitions in Kunming.
Janeric Johansson was born in Sweden in 1950. As an artist he is self-taught, but the strictness and obvious talent reflected in his art, reveals that this is beyond doubt an experienced professional.
He often uses acrylic and oil, installing metal structures on his paintings. This encourages the audience to view the art works from different angles. Viewing from each new point, you will discover different aspects of his art, and every subtle change will increase the audience’s curiosity and stimulate their creativity.
Moreover, the application of every symbol and the schema of his work is reminiscent of The Da Vinci Code, but still needs the artist’s help to decrypt it.
Janeric Johansson’s talent in telling stories has proved enchanting, enabling the audience to vividly understand both art and artist. This is why, of all the exhibitions we have, his are the only ones where there’s sometimes a bigger audience on the final day than on the opening.
Janeric Johanssons’ art stimulates people to think, to feel and to tell. He encourages his audience not to view reality from one angle only. Sometimes you should move and view things from another point. You will then discover a totally different aspect of both his art and of reality.
The exhibition “Light Fight Night” is named by the artist himself. It’s a continuation of his consistent philosophy through the years — dualism, empathy and certain values. One of the pieces, viewed from the left showes the Chinese word “dong” (east), while from the right you will see the word “xi” (west). In another work it’s written “justice, peace and love” on one side. On the other side is “arrogance, war and hatred”. In a third work there’s a lonely horse on one side, and on the other side horses are kissing each other.
The theme of the exhibition is darkness and light, and the unceasing struggle between them. The 25 art pieces in this exhibition have all been created by Janeric Johansson in the last two years at his studio in Kunming’s Loft area.
The exhibition “Light Fight Night” will be presented on April the 17th at 8 pm, at TCG Nordica, Kunming Loft. It ends on May the 8th.
Looking forward to see you here!
TCG Nordica Gallery
Eleven years in Yunnan
Eleven years ago I was invited to take part in the First International Festival of Arts in Kunming. The Festival took place the first week of June, but I decided to come 1 month earlier to make a project with 10 students at the Yunnan Arts Institute. At that time no one had heard about Kunming in Sweden. But my friend Anna Mellergard had moved here a year before and she also took part in this project.
The same month I was also invited to present a solo exhibition at the Upriver Gallery in Kunming, one of few avant-garde galleries in China at the time. I didn’t realise how important that exhibition would be. I was the first international artist to hold an exhibition there and for many art students it was the first opening they had ever attended. Most of the Kunming artist attended the opening, including Fang Lijun and Yue Minjun from Beijing. I expected this to be a very local event, far away from Beijing, but suddenly I found myself in the most inspiring and developing art world.
When the 250 artists, musicians and dancers from 40 countries arrived a month later, I was waiting together with my Chinese students and artist friends at the courtyard of the Art Institute. I was supposed to be a part of this international group, but when they were coming out of the buses I realised that I belonged more to the Chinese group. And that feeling has remained with me ever since, and I have kept coming back to China for ten years now.
When T/Café Gallery opened a year later, I was the first artist to exhibit there. For a year, 2004-05, I lived in Kunming together with my wife Eva, and since then I have been coming two times per year. Since 2007 I have also been sharing a studio with Liu Lifen in Kunming Loft.
Three years ago, I was honored to represent Yunnan Province at The Third Guiyang Art Biennal in Guizhou Province.
Kunming has become my second home, mostly because of TCG Nordica and the deep friendships I have developed with many people in Kunming.
Today, Kunming is no longer a blind spot in Sweden. TCG Nordica has put it on the map. Most of the Chinese artists who have been involved in exhibitions and project in Scandinavia have also visited our home in Sweden. This has been a pleasure for my wife and me, and the friendships has been even deeper.
All the paintings in this exhibition are produced in my studio here in Kunming. They are dealing with different topics that have filled my mind the last years. They are an attempt to bridge the gap between east and west through asking questions and trying to understand the different cultures. In my works, I describe people – represented by horses – as they are searching for meaning in life, dealing with darkness and light, western and Chinese thinking. The different angles in my paintings force you to see and change your mind when you are moving in the room.
I hope that the questions I ask and the things that have been interesting to me during the work in the studio, also can be of interest to you as a visitor. You are important to me, because my paintings are not finished until they have met their audience.
Kunming april 2010