Counting Leaves

1 May 2019 - 30 May 2019

Joe Fan’s work, which embraces landscape, still life and suggested narrative, defies categorisation, although we can perhaps be unsurprised he works in Aberdeen, from where an elusive strain apparent in James Cowie, Alexander Fraser and Joyce Cairns could be called Aberdonian Magic Realism. But a closer reading reveals how Fan has harnessed many other influences, including Medieval tapestry, traditional Chinese painting, and the Northern European Renaissance. His exhibition title Counting Leaves speaks to the idea of an impossible quest and perhaps one that the artist has undertaken: he is guide and mentor as he invites us to join him in a magical storybook, each painting a new chapter.

This is Fan’s first show with The Scottish Gallery and we are thrilled to work with such an original talent.

Joe Fan will be in The Gallery to discuss his work on Saturday 11 May. If you are interested in attending this event please register on eventbrite, or contact The Gallery.

Born: 1962
Place of Birth: Hong Kong

Joe Fan, born in Hong Kong in 1962, came to Scotland to study Graphic Design at Aberdeen College of Commerce. He was then advised by an Aberdeen College lecturer to apply for a place at Gray’s School of Art to study Fine Art. Joe Fan presented a new group of paintings with The Gallery in October 2022, entitled Joe Fan’s Curiosities as part of our Autumn programme of exhibitions Scratching the Surface.

After successfully gaining a place at Gray’s, one of his teachers was Gordon Bryce. Following graduation in 1988, Joe won the Miller Homes Young Scottish Artist of the Year, and was sent to Paris to spend time at the Cité Internationale des Arts from 1989–1990. From 1990–1997, Joe returned to Aberdeen and became a Lecturer at Gray’s School of Art in Drawing and Painting. During this period, Joe also spent time as a visiting lecturer at Cyprus College of Art, Paphos in 1994. Joe Fan has been a full-time artist since 1997 based in Aberdeen.

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