Jia Aili was born in Liaoning, China, and studied oil painting at the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts in Shenyang. In his current practice, Aili creates large-scale paintings that borrow forms and techniques from classic Western painting styles while maintaining an overall aesthetic that’s thoroughly contemporary.
The artist’s studio, pictured above, has a very industrial look to it -- though there are no windows to speak of, the vast number of fluorescent tubes on the ceiling surely provide continuous, consistent lighting no matter what the hour. The floors in this studio space are interesting as well -- they look like textured concrete, and it looks like there may be drains running along the edges of the space. I wonder if the studio had some previous industrial life? Regardless, floors like this must make cleaning very easy.
I enjoy the kind of forest of canvases and easels that Aili has set up in his space here. I wonder if the artist focuses on a single painting, or if he tends to work on multiple paintings simultaneously. This could be a great setup for working with a variety of paint types, as it would allow the artist to add detail to a painting and then move on to another while waiting for that paint to dry.
Aili is known for paintings that merge classical aesthetics and with modern subject matter, including technology, waste, and conflict. Many of his works use slightly fragmented or distorted forms, reminiscent of Fellow chinese painter Cui Jie.