Mia, charcoal on paper
Paloma Negra, charcoal on paper
Tree in Winter, charcoal on paper
Friends, charcoal on paper
The Doorman, charcoal on paper
Lady with the Hat, charcoal on paper
Lady with the White Belt, charcoal on paper
The Guardian, charcoal on paper
Born in Taiwan (1987), Samuel Jan moved so frequently that he didn’t have enough time to make many friends and art became a constant companion, a solace. The dynamic and profound imagery from within the artist’s imagination left little room for loneliness. The child-like fantasy playing out in the artist’s mind was very much inspired by his environment – the liveliness of Asia, the ever changing energy of the streets and with no doubt a heavy influence by cartoon animation. Thus, Samuel gave voice to a visual narrative so unique and vivid that he is being celebrated for his distinctive style at the young age of twenty-four.
Samuel, although quite modest when it comes to his own work, has a remarkable ability to convey a unique relationship between people and animals. He includes delicate nuances of oriental aesthetics, flowers and feminine whimsy (female gazes and billowing fabrics) together with powerful animals (many from the ‘exotic’ North American species) which makes for a highly intriguing contrast in his breathtaking and playful works.
The artist’s wide range of style and solid technique is becoming instantly recognizable. He uses simpler mediums and his fluid brush strokes of watercolor paint juxtaposed with the controlled use of graphite (a bold medium yet a challenge to keep clean) offers a striking composition. He achieves elements of photorealism and playful animation in his work which is quite extraordinary. The pupils in the eyes of his subjects offer ample soul and one is compelled to negotiate not only the mysterious and complex unspoken language between the subjects but also that of the relationship between the viewer and the subject.
Of significant importance, is how extremely disciplined Samuel is with the use of positive and negative space – he knows when to push forward and when to ease off, achieving complete and polished compositions every time. The creative process for Samuel comes from a very intuitive place. Yet, his impeccable attention to detail lends to beautifully rendered work. Consequently, the artist is quickly developing an impressive following in the Victoria art community.
“For the last two years I’ve worked mainly with charcoal. Because of the delicacy of the media, it requires more concentration, patience and precision. I find that charcoal provides a wider range of shades than any other medium, and the black is darker than the universe itself.” Samuel Jan has indeed mastered the art of charcoal. His implementation of fantasy, elements of surprise and crystal clear imagery allows for viewers an intimate glimpse into the world of the artist – an often surreal and wonderfully imaginary place. (victoria emerging art gallery)