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Jianan Li



Exhibition on View:

October 13-19, 2023


Opening Reception:
October 14, 2023

6 - 9 PM




178 Bleecker Street 2nd Floor

New York, NY 10012


The Sojourner Gallery in New York recently hosted the debut solo exhibition of the up-and-coming artist, Jianan Li. Through his unique installation art series, Li delves into the a priori nature of self-awareness and the universal misplacement. Using mirrors and paintings, he has created an interactive mode where both the audience and the installation become joint mediums of artistic expression. As visitors navigate this space, they discover the infinite symbiotic relationship between themselves, the paintings, the mirrored world, and other viewers.

In this multi-dimensional experience, attendees can feel the collision and interaction between reality and imagination, the individual and the other, as well as the tangible realm's genuine impact on the subject and its symbols. Drawing from Lacanian theory, Li's installation art showcases the existence model of the self, the big other, and the little other between the real and symbolic realms.

In a riveting conversation between the curator and the artist, Jianan Li explained the significance of mirrors in his work. Mirrors offer viewers a multi-perspective experience, allowing them to see their reflections, creating a scene coexisting with the paintings. His piece "Yinyang in Alaska" reveals the emotions and creative inspirations of the artist and curator in Alaska. This artwork, with its mirror elements, emphasizes our fleeting perception of reality, showcasing the exploration of truth and verity.

This exhibition marks a significant milestone in Li's journey from his initial foray into the art world to becoming a professional artist. His works are not just an outpouring of emotions but also a relentless pursuit of truth and exploration of beauty. He believes that beauty and truth together shape every individual's unique spiritual world. He will continue to seek and refine his distinctive artistic language, which includes painting but is not limited to it.

This exhibition not only showcases Jianan Li's artistic talent and innovative spirit but also offers viewers a platform to delve deep into the self, reality, and beauty. His artworks and exhibition methods reflect his exploration of multi-dimensionality, multi-perspectives, and profound emotional expression, bringing fresh inspiration and possibilities to the contemporary art scene.


By hosting this exhibition, the Sojourner Gallery also demonstrates its role as a showcase platform, providing young artists with a venue to display their art. In the future, the Sojourner Gallery in New York will continue to embrace an inclusive attitude, offering artists opportunities for display and interaction.

Jianan Li, born in Beijing in 2000, Jianan went to the U.S. for further studies in 2017 and is currently enrolled at New York University. Throughout his growth, he was deeply influenced by painters, educators, psychologists, and his father. Highly attuned to his and others' psychological dynamics, Jianan possesses a profound interest in both the minutiae of life and global events. By absorbing and reflecting upon various information, he chose art as his primary mode of expression.

Special Thanks:
At the end of this article, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following production team members whose invaluable contributions were pivotal to the success of this exhibition.

Producer: Zona Yuechen Guan
Curator: Lening Hou
Executive Curators: Yunqu Wang, Haokun Wang
Curatorial Assistant: Vincent Li
Photographers: Guang Chen, Zuxing Shi
Videographer: Yunqu Wang

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