Artist statement
Curiosity is the origin of creativity and imagination. Great art and design stems from exploring the curious. In my work, ordinary or even discarded materials often become the main sources for inspiration. For example, when I see a green bean, I start to imagine its potential to grow into a bean sprout full of life and energy. In this exhibition, the unique museum space with a garden next to it triggered my imagination and prompted me to ask myself if this space can be imagined as a flowerpot and we human beings as seeds and plants. We are all contained in this space, some reserved, and some full of energy. With this idea, I use mixed materials and repetition, to represent bodies and natural forms, inducing curiosity and intrigue within the viewing audience.

Biography

For 20 years, Jan-Ru Wan has been reusing found objects, especially those that have been discarded from industrial factories, in her sculpture/installation work thereby reinventing their purpose. She uses sculptural form, space, and site-specific formats to communicate about the human experience, the body, and the blending of Eastern and Western cultures. In the 15 years since receiving her MFA at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she has participated in twenty solo and forty group exhibitions, both national and international, including Casablanca, Morocco, Taipei and Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and Zhengzhou, China. She has been awarded artist residencies in Maine, Thailand, and Morocco. Her work has appeared in Sculpture Magazine, the Surface Design Journal and the International Journal of Arts in Society. In 2006, she received the Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) award from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. Recent awards for Wan include the 2009 North Carolina Visual Art Fellowship and the 2011 Chapel Hill Community project grant. Jan-Ru Wan has taught as an Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University, College of Design and East Carolina University.