February 26 – April 10, 2010
Jan-Ru Wan, born in Taipei, Taiwan, first studied and worked as a fashion designer, but soon wanted to express something deeper with her work, something she calls “the power of thread.” That concept, for her, encompasses symbolic and literal imageries of thread as a connector and mender of whatever has been torn. Brought up within the Taoist and Buddhist traditions, Wan’s work melds influences of both East and West, and often the words of the Heart Sutra, from Buddhist text, are found printed on the fabrics in her artwork. Her aesthetic embraces both positive and negative spaces, with ethereal volumes suspended on monofilament to create enveloping structures, seemingly arising from the void.
Wan came to the United States in 1990 to attend The School of Art Institute of Chicago. After receiving her BFA she went to The University of Wisconsin where she received an MFA in 1996. Since receiving her MFA, Wan has participated in 19 solo exhibitions, 40 group exhibitions and she has been awarded three important artist residencies; both national and international. In 2008 Wan was the keynote speaker for “Imagination as National Competiveness”, held in Seoul, Korea. That same year, she received a North Carolina Visual Art Fellowship, and also was the keynote speaker at the 2008 World Creativity Summit, Taipei, Taiwan. In 2010 alone Wan has solo exhibits scheduled in Canada, California and Florida. Currently, Wan is an assistant professor at North Carolina State University in Greenville.