Jian Yao is a painter born in China. He studied oil painting at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts before moving to Singapore in 1998 to further his studies at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. After obtaining two diplomas in Fine Art and Western Painting from the institution, he joined the academy as a full-time lecturer in Fine Art from 2001-2019.
By his own admission, Jian Yao’s inspiration often derives from his childhood and growing up. If drawing and painting as a creative enterprise reflects the liberty of his time as a child, then depicting toys in the grown-up world reiterates this compelling visual field. This painting was created in oil in 2014, where the truck appears to be almost life-sized due to the immense detail paid to the features of the vehicle, including the wheels and the way light reflects off the surfaces. Jian Yao’s skilled handling of the oil paint gives the truck a clean and realistic vibrancy. The layers of the truck are deep and translucent, while the background textures build a space that comes alive in a countryside or yard somewhere, an atmosphere unlike that of an artificially lit studio setting. The perspective of this truck is also intriguing, almost from a lower point of view up and in the distance towards the vehicle. This clever technique suggests distance and height, creating an illusion that what is actually a toy seems to be a real, life-sized pulsating truck ready to go.