Featured Artist: Jane Yuan
Jane Yuan received her MFA from San Francisco Art Institute in August 2020. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and majored in French at Cornell University. She specializes in art about Japanese and Chinese culture and myth. Her interests in language and literature come through in the themes and inspirations of her work. Jane hopes to teach art in the future to high school or college students. She likes to make playful illustrative drawings imitating Japanese prints.
I draw from Japanese mythology in my artwork and drawings. Recently, one writer that is in my works is Ryunosuke Akutagawa. In my work, there is the theme of feminism still, of females holding power. The Lord Shakyamuni or Buddha in “Spider Thread” in my drawings is a female deity, while in the short story it is male. The female deity lowers down a spider’s thread into the pond, down into the depths of hell. Also, I depict the mother and daughter relationship in some of my drawings.
In my work, there is also suggestion of cultures, identity, and tradition. When thinking about cultural identity, I think I am trying to depict the Japanese cultural identity in my drawings. I am aiming to depict the Japanese aesthetic.
Myth is a theme in my work. I would like to present both the modern and the ancient in my drawings. On Ryunosuke Akutagawa, it is written that he adapts his stories to include the premodern into them. My objective is to copy Akutagawa.
I hope that when my audience looks at my work, they will become interested in the myths I tell, and that my cultural depiction is accurate to them. I want them to question and think upon their views on religion.
My most recent work is “Children’s Festival” depicting a holiday where Japanese people celebrate children. My work is about a mixture of culture and ritual.