Vacation

Roswell Artist-in-Residence 
July 17 - August 28, 2022
Samuel H. Marshall & Donald Winston Gallery 

Artist Lecture and Opening Reception: Friday, July 15, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. 


Vacation is an exhibition of two animations by Yifan Jiang, Roswell Artist-in-Residence, and her collaborator, James J.A. Mercer. Experiential in nature, the works in this exhibition synthesize handmade painting with hands-off digital processes, finding absurdity somewhere between the narrative and the visual. Illogical storytelling points to abstract ideas while retaining the flavor of real life.

Two Truths and a Lie is a coming-of-age story pushed and pulled to the breaking point. After receiving a name from its grandmother, a baby is faced with the prospects of knowledge, love, and death in a game of two truths and a lie. Over a 20-year timeline, the baby journeys across the globe, giving away three aspects of itself to three others.

Vacation follows a protagonist road tripping home from college. A sudden volcanic eruption totals his car and destroys all his possessions. Barely surviving, our destitute star builds a life for himself out of furniture that has washed up on the shore, making an unremarkable patch of beach his home. An absurd fable on the nature of nature unfolds as he meets three animal companions: an intransigent seagull, a brilliant spider hidden in a broken laptop, and a divorced fish battling for custody over her 50,000 children.

Yifan Jiang is a Chinese Canadian artist based between New York City and Roswell, New Mexico. Jiang holds an MFA from Columbia University (2021) and a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Jiang’s work has been shown internationally at galleries, museums, and film festivals, including a two-part exhibition at Meliksetian | Briggs in Los Angeles, and “Zero-sum game” at Christian Andersen gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark, among others.

James J.A. Mercer is a New York-based artist whose paintings, drawings, and videos explore troubled geometries. Inspired by the nuances of suburban alienation, he paints situations hovering on the edge of relatability. Mercer received a bachelor’s degree in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Columbia University. He was a resident at Clocktower Productions and has exhibited at Pioneer Works and the Drawing Center.

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Two Truths and a Lie, Animated Video, 2019, Courtesy of the Artists.