During China Pavilion 2018 Galerie Fleur & Wouter organizes an exhibition about artist and illustrator Johan Kleinjan, who has developed a special relationship with China.
Johan (42) regularly works in guest studios in Asia. In 1999 he studied for half a year as an exchange student at the Tokyo Zokei University in Japan where his fascination with Asian culture began. Later he worked in Taiwan, Beijing, Peking and Chongqing.
Together with other artists and filmmakers, Johan lived in China for a long period of time in squatted buildings. They formed the Antistrot collective and jointly undertook projects such as murals and exhibitions. Under the pseudonym Jopie Stropie Johan once even ended up in a Japanese porn movie. Since 2010 Kleinjan has been a member of the collective Kamp Horst.
The raw and distinctive style Johan works in, forces you to look closer at the ordinary things in life. He spent four months as artist in residence in Beijing at the Chinese Institute for Provocation, which cooperates with the Dutch Mondriaan Fund. Wherever he goes Johan takes his pencils and sketchbook. He likes to draw people in their own environment, preferably without them being aware of it. In China people eat out much more often than in the Netherlands, and crowded places such as restaurants are excellent locations for Johan to work. His drawing materials are easily hidden between all the dishes and bowls on the table.
The week before the exhibition Johan resides in de Torenkamer of VondelCS - you can follow his progress on the AVROTROS radio program Opium and in this blog. Here he will make a work about Chinese culture that will be shown together with his series Chinezen die chinezen during China Pavilion in the Winter Garden of VondelCS.