Belgium painter Christian Silvain’s works are meeting Chinese art followers for the first time. Sixteen of his original paintings created in the early 1990s are on display at Shanghai’s JIC Books on the North Bund.

Silvain was born in 1950 in Eupen, Belgium. He spent his childhood with his two old aunts, who encouraged him to draw and paint at the age of three. He moved to Brussels in 1966 after the death of his aunts and struggled to survive.

As a self-taught painter, Silvain was inspired by Paul Delvaux’s works and was determined to become an artist. He began to work on surrealist paintings and later traveled to France and Germany, exhibiting regularly in Belgium and abroad. Loneliness and disorders were often featured in his works due to his complicated childhood.

“We can firmly state that Silvain is one of the most significant and authentic artists of his generation,” said Jos Depypere, curator of Belgium’s Galerie Jos Depypere, the painter’s friend and agent. “Each single work is portraying a passage of his life, with great emotional tension tucked behind a juvenile surface. Each painting depicts a fascinating but tragic confrontation with his past. The driving force of his oeuvre is residing in an irresistible desire for survival.”

The paintings will be exhibited at JIC Books till Friday as part of the store’s “Belgium Culture Month” activity. Other Belgium-themed activities include book and photo exhibitions, and a food tasting event.

The paintings will be moved to JIC Books’ store in Beijing, and then to Shanghai’s L’Etincelle Art Space next month.

Exhibition info

Date: Through November 22, 10am-9pm
Venue: JIC Books Shanghai
Address: 18 Gongping Rd, Hongkou District

Date: From December 20 to February 20, 10am-4pm
Venue: L’Etincelle Art Space
Address: 555 Hami Rd, Changning District