James Jean Eternal Journey Walkthrough

…maintain the energy, or not to lose the energy in the original
sketch. So this is the sketch for “Bathers” Actually sometimes I do like the sketches
more than the actual paintings, but, um, with “Bathers,” we have these women washing their hair by
the sea, they’re sort of like the three fates, or MacBeth’s
three witches. The long hair sort of represents the long
continuous narrative, unbroken narrative, in all of my paintings. And here we have what seems like a male figure,
with noodles being extruded from his face. Then he’s holding a pair of scissors as if
he’s about to cut the noodles and the hair. So you know, noodles in Asian cultures are
representative of longevity, and connectivity. But, as we all know, noodles need to be eaten! And here’s a little kappa character here. It’s from Japanese folklore. Oh, speaking of folklore, there’s “folklor.la”
right now. And then, in a contrast to the sea nymphs,
we have these turtles – which is also correlated to the elements – and the colors in obangsaeg. [Korean: 모방색] So the turtles seem quite phallic, their heads
pointed up into the air, kinda singing the siren song. And here we have the metaphorical center of
the show. So at the center of obangsaeg is Yellow Earth. And I worked with Judson Studios to create
a new stained glass sculpture. I wanted to use stained glass because earth
is made from molten sand, so it seemed like the perfect medium. And, from what Judson tells me, they had never
made a freestanding, three-dimensional sculpture like this before so this might be a first, I know there have
been 3D stained glass sculptures, but none decorated or as elaborate as this
one. And so we have Gaia, Mother Earth, here, and
she’s holding the conjoined heads of these turtles. The turtles sort of represent all of the world,
all of the world is contained within the turtles’ shell, or on top of the turtle’s shell. Their heads kind of turn into these fallopian
tubes, you have the eggs – the orbs – poppin’ out there. Here we have a bee, also a pollinator in nature,
so this whole piece is kind of about fertility and pollination. And on the other side, opposed to Gaia, we
have this male entity, the tiger, chasing a butterfly, sort of distracted here. And I love the transparency of the glass and
how the light works. This piece was incredibly difficult to make, we had to figure out a lot of technical innovations
to get this done. So the piece is entirely made out of water
jet cut fused glass. All of these shapes here in the background
are individually cut. Especially these circles, you can’t cut these
by hand. But the faces are all hand-painted. And are
also shaded using an airbrush. And there’s imagery on top of the panels as
well. Here we have a mockup of the stained glass. This is what I made to sort of figure out
how to make this thing. You can see the drawings. Then down this green hallway here, we have works that we borrowed from collectors
over the years. So this room kind of shows a sense of my history,
works from 2008, 2009, 2010. These works are very expressive and abstract
at points. And yes, the shipping was insane [laughs]
on this show. Especially on the large paintings. The canvases
are designed to fold in half. And then the stained glass was also very difficult to transport but we had to figure all that out. Yeah, we actually are trying to design a lamp
right now. A small version of Gaia, Yellow Earth. So we are in Seoul, Korea right now. Here’s an older painting called “Crickets”
from 2008. I quite like the texture. Made a little volcano. I love this little volcano guy. Oh! There’s a little fleck. Let’s get that
outta there. There we go. Don’t touch paintings! Don’t touch the paintings at the museum. So, this old painting, “Wave,” was kind of
inspired by Casper David Friedrich. The lone figure kind of facing the sublime landscape. At the time these paintings of cherubs were
the largest I had ever done, but now that I look at them they’re kinda small. Yeah, they seemed quite difficult to make
at the time. Ah, here’s “Maze”! This is a classic, classic
painting. I didn’t know it would become so popular when
I painted it, but… here it is. Eleven years later, and there’s the Descendent
from way back then. So now we continue on. Here are the sketches for the stained glass. And then here’s the original drawing, the
template, that everything was based on. The large paintings in the big room, are, they range from 10 by 30 feet to 11 by 40-something feet. This is an old drawing called “Rift”. Some of you might have the book that contains
this drawing. It pulls a lot of quotes from my interviews
over the years. Little embarrassing for me [laughs], but hopefully
they’re illuminating. Here we have a painting called “Aurelians.” Aurelian means butterfly collector, or someone
interested in butterflies. Aurelian was also a Roman emperor who came
from humble beginnings in the military and then ascended to the throne. Um, so, that’s sort of how Aurelian got its
meaning. It’s like a caterpillar transforming to a
butterfly so from humble beginnings something amazing can happen. Aureolius means golden, and so that’s why
we have a golden yellow sky in the background. I thought it was quite cool that you had that
butterfly migration in LA recently, and the species of butterfly is called The
Painted Lady and I thought of this painting, so there are all these kind of unexpected
connections that can be made when you make a painting, not knowing what it is you’re doing as you’re
doing it, but at the end you sort of find all these unintended connections. We have this large painting, “Adrift,” it
was on the cover to my book, “Pareidolia.” I don’t know why all my books have such weird
names. I’m gonna try and stop that. [laughs] So we have a girl stranded on a piece of Taihu rock; Taihu rock is also known as Philosopher’s Stone. The rocks are covered in psychedelic graffiti. And this hawk here, or falcon, is bringing
her some driftwood so she can build a raft and escape! And the sky is this acidic camouflage, so,
I dunno, it’s as if the world is turning into a psychedelic fantasy here. Not very natural. And here’s another large piece called “Pagoda.” This was etched wood. I used a laser to etch the lines into the
wood but the process took forever. This piece was incredibly difficult to make
at the time. And I rolled on printmaking ink, onto the
surface, and it started cracking, but I really liked the effect. I was kind of worried how it was going to,
um, last over the years, but we did refurbish it recently. They seem like everything is looking okay.
Nothing is falling off. But I love these cracks, the texture of the
piece. This is a more recent painting called “Rope,”
sort of inspired by Butoh [舞踏] dancing. And all these pieces here were borrowed from
the collectors who were generous enough to lend the pieces. We had to send people to pick ’em up and build
crates and this was just a really huge undertaking. Here we have a CG animation that I made for
the show. It’s kind of a moving version of “The Descendents”
painting. It features music from Nosaj Thing. [Korean-American record producer.] And there are also some small samples of my
son’s voice in the music. I wanted the effect of this room to be like
a living, breathing painting, so every element is moving, and heaving, as
if it’s inhaling and exhaling. So I call this one “Superbloom Panorama,”
also inspired by the recent superblooms we’ve had in California. We also have some light leaks and flares happening
here. Oh, there we go. Let’s head into this room. So we have this painting “Bouquet,” that was featured on the cover of Juxtapoz a few years ago. and as a centerpiece of the Juxtapoz Superflat
show, curated by Takashi Murakami. And an old painting called “Nervosa.” This painting’s based on the concept of wisdom,
actually the guy who commissioned it, he wanted a series of paintings based on the
four household gods. This one is wisdom, the other ones were luck,
and, uh, [laughs] I forget the other two of them. But we had to borrow that piece also. Here we have the Prada room. This is the original drawing that I made for
the collaboration I did in 2007. This is in Seoul, Korea. The story behind this piece is that, y’know,
I received a few key words from Miuccia Prada, she told me to make something romantic, nonlinear,
sci-fi, lyrical, and based on the previous collection which had a lot of fake fur and
feathers. I decided to use the character Mary here,
so we have Mary and she’s searching for her little lamb. And she sort of travels through this Boschian
landscape of carnivorous flowers and strange creatures in order to find her lamb. Then at the end, she finally finds her lamb! The reason why it’s so long is because the
mural was meant to stretch over an entire city block. We have some prints here from the resort collection
from I think it was 2018. Bunny print that was used recently. And another Prada drawing. This was used on
a scarf that they recently put out. Yeah, they insure all the borrowed pieces
for the value that is appraised. And here we have some more Prada prints, and
the animation that I did for them way back. Some more text about the Prada collaboration. Here’s another painting we borrowed called
“Ama II” which is based on these Japanese pearl divers.

4 thoughts on “James Jean Eternal Journey Walkthrough

  1. This. Is. Incredible. I have never seen James' work in such a light. Hearing him give the background to them changes it completely and adds so much depth to them. Makes them even more grandiose. I only wish I could see it in person. I thoroughly enjoyed this video. thank you for posting!

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