East meets West; Wenna meets Marc

From May 27 – June 26, 2017, Galerie Terra Delft will feature a duo exhibition of the Belgian artist  Marc Janssens (B) and the Chinese artist  Wenna (CN), from Beijing: ‘East meets West – Wenna meets Marc’.

Wenna is known in Delft, Lyon, Mauritius, Shanhai, Beijing, New Zealand and Sanbao-Jingdezhen for her colorful murals. The themes which she employs are products of her imagination, and rooted in the rich history of Chinese mythology and fairy tales. Since 2014 she has been executing her drawings three-dimensionally in clay, immediately showing a great talent for form and proportions as well as open-mindedness in technique. Her first sculptures were fired in the wood-burning kiln in Sanbao, after which she sought different ways of decorating with glaze and paint. Her sculptures are very Chinese, but not traditional, and often exuberantly adorned.

05-east-meets-west-1Marc Janssens makes ceramic human figures. After firing, these figures are assembled with a variety of accessories. The result is sometimes a critique of society, but often also absurd and poignant. After assembly, the sculptures are usually painted, creating a unity between the ceramics and the accessories. During his residency in Jingdezhen in 2014 he was influenced by that city of ceramics and began to incorporate porcelain slip and glaze. His famous piece portraying Mao Zhedong captured in chopsticks is an example of how Jingdezhen and China have influenced his work.

Marc and Wenna have great admiration for each other’s work. Both are searching for possibilities for realizing a goal, a unique sculpture, and neither thinks traditionally about techniques and ceramics. At Wenna’s first visit to Marc’s studio, in 2016, they worked together on a joint sculpture without having planned this in advance. This natural cooperation continued in the spring of 2017. Wenna stayed and worked for a while with Marc, and the result can be seen in this exhibition. In addition to work which emerged during this period of collaboration there will also be pieces created by each artist.

Since 2011 Galerie Terra Delft has represented Marc Janssens and permanently exhibited his work, both in the gallery and further afield in Rotterdam and London as well as in China: in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing and Jingdezhen. Wenna is in Delft in 2017 for the fourth time; in a Delft pop-up studio she has been working on a new series of sculptures. Her first exhibition with Galerie Terra Delft was in 2013 in the Delft’s Old Church, where she showed elegant drawings. Since 2014 Wenna’s sculptures have been in the gallery’s permanent collection. In 2015 she made a large mural on the external wall of the Stanislascollege, located on the Krakeelpolderweg in Delft. Her 2017 residency in Delft was interrupted for three weeks due to a commission from Hermès in Shanghai to create a mural for that company.