Juan is a 2014 BA Fine Art graduate from Huaqiao University, Fujian Province, China.
Juan’s early upbringing in a remote part of Hunan Province, China, was deeply influenced by the basic existence led by her family and other local communities. Though the Cultural Revolution had been over for many years, fundamental struggles remained in everyday life. Of the good things, she fondly remembers the jackets and trousers worn by everyone she came across, often patched because of wear and tear. The patterns and shapes seemed like rays of hope disguising the tough realities of day-to-day existence.
Taiping, where she now lives, is a place oozing with vibrancy and colour, not only from the local surroundings, but the from the jungle as well. These visual sensations have helped swell the tones and hues of her palette as she continues to explore a sense of identity and place through the medium of stitching and sewing onto canvas.
'My early childhood, whilst fundamentally happy, was dominated by a sense of not only trying to survive, but also of wanting more. When I began to paint and stitch, I could easily have been held hostage to an existence that seemed devoid of any sense of ambition. But all those fabrics, patches, yarns and wools gave me something else to think about. They were not only practical - keeping us warm and clean - but the powerful colours, often oddly juxtaposed because of the patches, gave me a huge sense of optimism and hope. This is what won me over.
Now that I live in Malaysia, it’s not just the patterns of the local fabrics that inspire me, but the endless forms of the tropical plants and the whole environment. Colour is everywhere. These are emotional and visual statements that go a long way to identifying who we are. All this ignites my imagination.'
Juan's work is included in private collections in the UK, Europe, China and Malaysia.