Divine Deer Approaches the Raging Storm and Blazing Sun

Jian'an Wu

Divine Deer Approaches the Raging Storm and Blazing Sun, 2019

Ink, watercolor, paper cut and collage on Xuan paper




United States of America

Price: 120,000 USD

About The Work

From a distance, Divine Deer appears to be a painted canvas, and yet upon close inspection it reveals itself to be a collage constructed from hundreds of cut out brushstrokes in which every detail down to the very smallest has been preserved. As often is the case with Wu Jian’an’s work, the process is complicated. Several ‘options’ for each component are painted using watercolor and ink, the resultant brushstrokes precisely cut out from the Xuan paper, and then are stacked in layers, so that the colors and composition of the final image is constructed with an element of chance involved. Whereas Wu first used this collage technique to create abstract works, this piece is inspired by mythological elements (in this case the story of a deer deity faced with an impossible choice) that have long been present in Wu Jian’an’s previous work. He employs the new technique in his return to figurative representation, and injecting the element of chance through the process of “coding” his brushstrokes adds a new level of complexity to his substantial body of work.

About Jian'an Wu

In the hands of Wu Jian’an, the traditional Chinese medium of paper cut is elaborated and used to explore an idiosyncratic range of iconographic source material culled from all over the world. Over time, Wu Jian’an’s works have grown both in scale and complexity as he increasingly conceives individual works as part of larger installations. Since his first exhibition at Chambers Fine Art in 2006, Wu Jian‘an has established himself as a unique figure in contemporary Chinese art. Having chosen paper-cut as his primary means of expression in his early work, he has continued to use this technique in increasingly complex multilayered compositions and installations that frequently utilize thousands of components. Simultaneously, the range of references embodied in his works has grown enormously, embracing a multitude of mytho-logical, esoteric and contemporary references.


Established in New York in 2000, Chambers Fine Art is one of the leading galleries in the United States and China to represent a rising generation of Chinese artists who use both traditional and modern art-making techniques to tackle the issues and trends of contemporary Chinese life. With a solid program of solo and group shows, Chambers contributes significantly to the growing understanding and appreciation of contemporary Chinese art. In September 2007, Chambers Fine Art opened an 8,000 square-foot space in Beijing, designed by artist and architect Ai Weiwei, in the Caochangdi art district, to better serve the artists it represents.

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