James Jean x JJ Lin <<Regain Happiness>>
In 2023, James Jean celebrates the 20th anniversary of his artistic career. Coincidentally, he and JJ Lin both entered their respective industries in the same year, and both excel in capturing the vicissitudes of life through their creations and presentations in the fields of music and visual art. For his upcoming 20th-anniversary album "Rediscovering Happiness," JJ Lin specially invited James Jean to design the cover of this significant album.
Artist James Jean's latest solo exhibition "Endless Spin II" will soon debut at the A4 Art Museum in Chengdu, showcasing over 200 pieces of his work for the audience to immerse themselves in his artistic world.
On the album cover created by Jean, two characters are connected by a Möbius strip, their eyes covered. Like the Möbius strip, we continuously loop in our life journey, and the loose threads will eventually connect. However, each cycle will have a twist, gradually revealing itself.
The two characters in the painting are actually the same person, both with their eyes covered to avoid prematurely foreseeing the future, even if life's trajectory will ultimately be a circle. The path ahead seems winding and rugged, but the exit has been predestined.
The heroic figure on the left holds a divination rod, constantly seeking pearls along the way. The heroic figure on the right is ambitiously soaring towards the sky, with a bag full of treasures. In his hand, he holds a lotus flower, symbolizing rebirth, its petal folds echoing the meaning of the Möbius strip. Although he reaches upwards towards heaven, the blindfold pulls him back to the ground, as if the heavy baggage of the past keeps him tethered. As his hand opens and closes, time and life flow in cycles; whether clenched or loose, it is all treasure in his cognition. His skyward hand welcomes a descending songbird. The sparrow, in many myths or spiritual legends, has transcendent historical significance, and in this painting, the bird's blessings may be bittersweet.
Scattered along the road are old concrete pillars and remnants of past buildings. In Shinto beliefs, everything in nature and inanimate objects are imbued with divine spirits. When these objects are cut and dissected, the spirits reveal themselves. The spirits exist around humans, responding to our prayers and sentiments.
This visual presentation, inspired by the Romantic landscape paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, aims to evoke introspective reflections by embarking on a solitary journey towards the sublime. As the sun approaches the horizon, it becomes warm and mysteriously beautiful; if the protagonists could remove their blindfolds, they would undoubtedly be enraptured by this sacred sight.