zhang Things Fall Apart

This installation is a reaction. A confession. A reckoning.
It stops to acknowledge the madness of the world.
It speaks directly yet circuitously. It bludgeons and it hints.

There is too much information… too much misinformation… too much violence (visible or invisible, tangible or intangible) … too much confusion… too much truth… too much falsity… too many people... too many networks… too many things happening at once.

It breeches the body’s limits, this carnival and spectacle.
It breaks the human soul, this nothingness delivered with incessant fury.
It is more than one can take, and so,
        things
        fall
        apart.

Some pieces are burned and break up. This is just matter, nothing more than simple material molded into a shape, yet clearly there is pain here. One sees injury. Was it disease? Was it violence? What is it that breaks a woman’s body? Was she over-medicated or was she without access to treatment? Was it bearing children or bearing without them? Was it living invisibly under the heaviness of society’s expectations and power structures? Was it imprisonment or liberation? It is not just in China or America, it is everywhere. It is not just women, it is everyone. Bodies are pushed past their limits. The world’s problems are so evident, and so overwhelming. It is hard to make decisions. It is hard to make judgments. It is hard to know what is right. The outside stimulus is never-ending. Its violence is pardoned. There is no escape. It doesn’t matter if you like it or not. This is not natural for our minds or bodies. And so,
        things
        fall
        apart.

Each piece in this installation is a façade. A mask. We pretend to be intelligent, when in fact we do not understand. We pretend to be sure when we feel unsure. Our bodies are broken, but we pretend we are strong and powerful. We pretend to look okay, when inside, we are not.

Behind each surface, there is a deeper meaning. Amorphous shapes push through fabric stretched onto canvases. The abstraction forces the mind to wander in to a feeling. Art only gives you a part of something; there is another part you cannot see. One knows they are looking at some part of a human body, but cannot ascertain which muscle. The motion is evident, but the power is boxed in. These shapes try to break through the façade. But the energy cannot come out.

I begin every piece in the same way. When faced with a blank piece of canvas, my approach is this: do not resist. Follow that irresistible desire. It is like dipping my hand into a stream and feeling the current. The meditation allows something unseen to find its way out. What emerges was within me, but it was hidden until now. It lived within the temperature of my body, but it has been converted, transmuted, transported. It has entered the world and I see it for the first time. The work is a part of me but becomes an object in itself. Every piece in this installation was a surprise. Every piece, regardless of size, emerged from a physical psychological and physical memory. So each piece is impossible to repeat. Art is the individual's exploration of the inner self and the outward world.

Every step in this installation was a spontaneous discovery. Eggs can be seen scattered, clustered, in paths. They once carried bodies and now lay broken. Their shards are a testimony to birth and possibility. Every moment is unknown. Some people react with fear. But some feel nervous excitement of a second chance. The unknown can be welcomed with delight. It can either be seen as an end or a beginning when...
        things
        fall
        apart.

勢如累卵

這組裝置作品像是一種私密的反應 ,懺悔和清理。
身處一個瘋狂的世界,你的思維會提示你無法認可它,而這種提示看似矛盾, 直接又間接,濃重渲染卻又輕描淡寫。

這組裝置作品像是一種私密的反應 ,懺悔和清理。身處一個瘋狂的世界,你的思維會提示你無法認可它,而這種提示看似矛盾, 直接又間接,濃重渲染卻又輕描淡寫。

有太多的信息,,,太多錯誤的信息,,,太多(有形或無形,可視與不可視)的暴力 行為,,,太多的混亂迷惑,,,太多的真理和謊言,,,太多的人,,,太多的網絡,,,太多的事情同一時間發生。

它超越了人以及身體的承受底線,各種狂歡和假像帶出靈魂深處的不安,虛無夾裹著忿怒,一木難支,勢如累卵。

燒焦,解體,不期而遇的形狀以及材料的擠壓所呈現的更多的是傷害與痛感。變形?病態?施虐?不只限於女性的身體特徵?是過量的人為矯正還是任其病入膏肓的不聞不問?這有關兒童還是成人?還是我們生活在一個不可承受之重的社會權力結構之下的生存狀態?是被控制還是自由釋放?這不只是中國或美國,這種景象已滲入到生活的層層面面,無處不在,不限於年齡性別和身份。關乎到每一個人的生活。面對這種壓倒性的機制,人會無從決定和判斷對與錯。身外的刺激從未結束,無法逃避的現實是對暴力的容忍。無論你是否願意接受,頭腦和身體在非自然的暴力凌駕之下勢如累卵。

裝置的每一部分是局部的外觀,如同面具。人人似乎知道很多,但實際上又什麼都不明白,當我們不確定時卻要表現得確切無異。身心超載時卻要證明自己的強大。內心糾葛掙扎卻要假裝平安無事。

每一塊作品表面背後都有另一層關聯的意義,通過織物的伸拉糾纏呈現出無定形的形狀。抽象的力量往往可以提供一種連接內心的感覺。藝術只為你提供一個可視的組成部分,而另一面無法看到的內涵卻連接著身體與心理的反應。對我而言,也許不確定的肌肉卻會帶有明顯的意象,又純屬一種內部的消耗。形狀似乎超越表面,但能量卻鎖在了裡面。

面對一塊畫布,一堆材料我總有種不可抗拒的願望。想做出點什麼。最習慣的方式是讓它自己從內部流出,而它會像浸漬到手上的一個流和感覺,那是當下的冥想,並非在尋找出路,只是順著那一瞬的感覺,像撫弄一股溪流。各種心理上的轉換都會成為暗示和轉變,在自覺與不自覺中作品會帶給我驚喜,也一定會有我的溫度。而此時意識的維度就會一直帶出各種暗示。那個過程就一直持續不斷地提供給我一個開放空間,無論大小,記述一種物理性的心理和身體的記憶。無論混屯還是細密。所以每一件作品幾乎是無法重覆。那是一個個人從內到外的挖掘。

這個裝置的每一個步驟都是一種順其自然的發現。聚散於地面上的卵正如被打破的碎片,而這些破碎卻又預示一種新的可能性。在一片混屯中,有人因混亂而恐懼,也有人因生機而欣喜。未知帶出新的可能性。勢如累卵,或許是結束,亦或許是開始,,,

Boundaries

A new place always brings the possibility of illusions. Creating an art piece means creating a new reality. The boundaries of my imagination get pushed by inconclusive elements. A flash of thought comes to me when past memories meet new encounters. For me, inspirations are born from the relationship among inner mind, physical body and environmental boundaries. What you can do is to reveal one of the features of the texture to its maximum, as the texture is unique and diverse by itself.

A sudden change or break down of the presence always comes with sharp damage. However, unlimited opportunities will rise between the end and the rebirth. Every piece of broken shards from the old presence shows both explosiveness and fragileness naturally. They speak with a special language consisting of fear and loneliness. This kind of visual reality is bittersweet. Dazzling. Finding a way out of the broken shards is thrilling. Within this piece or artwork, I tried to freeze the very moment of breaking a presence, to expose the fragileness behind the routine. Though presented in still visual art, it represents the flow of time and life.

To me, working is mostly a process of releasing inner energy. Full of expectations, surprises and challenges, it allows me to search for the right touch in the simplest way with easy access.

界限

新的空间总能给人带来一种幻觉的可能性。 重建一个作品意味着创造一个新的现实,而想像的界限也往往在各种不确定因素的刺激下充满可能性。但即便一瞬间出现的想法也大多来于各种曾经验过的心理感受与新气息的交错碰撞。 对我来讲,灵感始终来源于自身心理,身体以及环境的界限关系。而材料本身已有其特殊性与丰富性。你能做的就是把它的某种性质发挥到极致。与材料之间的互动关系常常是不期而遇的。

对状态的改变和颠覆往往带着尖锐的毁灭。而介于毁灭和新生之间充满了期许和能量。被打破的每一碎片都以自然的状态呈现着脆弱与爆发力,正如恐惧和孤独的语言方式总是夹杂着一抹神秘。这种视觉真实亦悲亦喜。眩目美丽。面对残缺而在其中找到新的定位过程是迷人的。这件作品我试尝用破裂去凝固生命力的流变瞬间。表达日常秩序之后被遮蔽的易变,脆弱的本质。虽以视觉有关,但更是对时间消逝以及生命消磨的状态表达。

对我来讲,工作最大的意义实际上是一种能量释放的过程。充满期待,惊喜和挑战,让你自由进来,自由出去。在尽可能的简洁,单纯中寻找感知方式。

0-Viewpoint

Creating art is a way of examining my inner self, my true self. Creating art is my way of interpreting various emotions and spiritual thoughts; to remove the mask in order to show the true face of human nature. At times, I will create art as a process of rethinking myself. In my life, I have experienced many impulses, both physical and mental, that have taken me from one place to another. I have adapted to new environments and cultures. Living at the intersection of Eastern and Western cultures has influenced my vision of life. My mind is usually hovering between what is real and what is imagined. Therefore my work is very personal and reflects my inner conflicts and struggles. Many events in our lives happen naturally and frequently. Over time, we may become apathetic and neglectful of everyday occurrences, and even ourselves. This illustrates how people think and navigate through life, but recognizing the significance of small items can influence how we see everything around us. Seemingly insignificant details reveal the sensitivities and weaknesses of human nature.

We are consistently being challenged by feelings of confusion and lucidity, loss and hope. In addition, the place between an actual experience and a dream could also make one feel lost as we often struggle and seek out a space in which to escape.

My work is emotional and embodies a relationship that falls between reality and dream, rather than a description of a specific story. My work utilizes images to provide hints and/or clues leaving the viewer to his or her own conclusions. Each individual viewer will have a unique way of seeing my work, according to the life experiences and psychological state that the viewer has at that time. I am attracted to a type of beauty that is flexible and uncertain, like a mood that is troubled and emotional, casual and sensitive. Imperfection indeed creates a new harmony. I have tried to metaphorically open a new space in my work to remind the viewers to interact with the piece. This allows them to dig out all the possibilities of the inner powers of the piece. Whether the reaction is positive or negative, it is an emotional response. This process of viewer creation promotes a way of seeking better solutions as well as other new energies.

When I create a piece, I feel like telling my viewers about my own stories. The interpretation and vision will be left up to my viewers to imagine and decide for themselves. I like to use direct and pure language to explain themes. I use simple and basic elements to do the job giving up unnecessary details in order to maintain the fundamental element of the inner meaning of the artwork. The clarity of the work creates an intellectual and emotional relationship with the viewers, rather than giving fixed anticipations and expectations. The exhibition space, in relation to the work, is meant to be a guiding or interpretive tool. The meaning of my work demonstrates a state of mind in everyday life: a friendly, familiar feeling. Therefore, I choose raw and ordinary materials to create familiarity, closeness, and to stir emotion. I hope to create an image containing a natural quality of tenderness and flexibility evoking the viewer's memories directly and peacefully. The purpose of using a white background is to give the effects of flatness, delicacy, ethereal and quiet. Differential light emphasizes the expansion of space, not only demonstrating clarity, but setting an assertive control of existence of "spirit." The molding and sense of light combine illusion and gender, suggesting that the activity of temperament is prone to meditation and spiritual freedom, at times drifting, at time rebellious.

The expansion of space creates a field with pressure, so the work is not fixed due to the various elements used, which also demonstrate the faces of vitality. During production, I work extemporaneously disregarding rules and boundaries. The freedom and diversity of artistic language enables me to find and channel my intimate needs of expression.

0-视点

艺术创作是我面对真实自己的途径。 我试图把某种心境与精神状态以自己的方式表现出来。剥开面具表现人性本质是一种自我认识与反省的方式。

在我的人生中出现过许多冲动,这些冲动把我从一个地方带到另一个地方,使我不得不在重新适应新的环境和文化的同时调整自己的心态,思考所面临的生存状态。东/西方文化交错的生活环境不断地冲击着我习惯的认识方式,我的思维常常徘徊于现实与梦想之间。因此我的作品是非常个人化的,所体现的是我内心的种种矛盾与挣扎。作品与其说是对生命的某种片断性的记忆,不如说是一种心理历程的暗示。是我无法从生命经验中摆脱的潜意识的真实。不同文化的相互渗透影响着我的价值观以及对人性的理解。我希望我的作品所提供的不是一个对其局部意义的解读,而是一种多元信息,使人不以世俗的观念来审视与判断她,并给与她以新的价值与生命。

在生活中有许多意识的发生因自然频繁使人麻木而忽视它的存在,但恰恰使这些被忽视的意识形态之中却体现着人性的本质,体现着人对信仰,信任,伦理责任与欲望的基本追求与思考。人性的敏感与脆弱也正体现在许多微不足道的生活细节之中。种种迷惑与质疑,希望与失落始终挑战着我们的心态。当生命经验与无限理想之间的距离使你无所适从时,内心的挣扎感是十分强烈的。我的作品讲述的是一种无法理清的头绪,是现实与梦想之间的关系,并非一个具体的故事描述。许多符号是一种心理的意向性表达。她反馈于来自人群中的“人”。不同的个体会根据自己的生命经验与心理状况对其做出反应与判断。

某种具有弹性的,不固定的美感对我总是有吸引力的,像是一种不安的精神与情绪,随意而感性。因不完美而产生一种新的和谐。我试图以隐喻和试探性的表达创造一个开放的空间,唤起人与作品本身的自由,让视觉体验在精神上产生一种能量,使观众与作品之间产生某种关联互动,产生一种心理反应,无论这种反应是从容还是拒绝,作品内部应该具有活力,从而去挖掘更多的可能性。制作的过程是我思考途径的延续。当我制作一件作品时,我感觉是在讲述一个和自己有关的故事,而解读的角度与视点取决于观看者。

我喜欢以直接,单纯的语言方式提炼出最基本最少的元素来表现主题。放弃不必要的细节,保持相对纯粹的效果是为了更准确地把握最为本质地作品内涵,使它因清晰而超出人们对它地预料与期待,产生一种智能与灵性地关系。空间现场与作品只是一种提案和线索。

我的作品表达的是日常心态,是一种亲切,熟悉的感觉,所以我尽量选择平凡朴 素的材料,营造一种近距离的以及贴肤的幻觉,这些自然的特质会带来心态的柔软与弹性,唤起潜在的记忆,让人直接,安心地接近和感受作品。

我喜欢使用白色所提供地平坦与精致,以及空灵与静谧的视觉效果,利用明度的微差处理是为了加强茫漠扩展的空间性,在清晰又不过于张扬的控制中显示作品的魂的存在。

轻量感的塑造是一种幻觉与性别的暗示,其活性气质易于产生一种冥想和精神上的自由。在深层的内涵意义上表达的是潜在的游离和反叛意识。空间的扩张性处理也正是为了造成一个具有压力的场,使作品因种种不固定的因素而显示其生命力。

在制作手法上我喜欢即兴地表达,不考虑规则与界限。艺术语言地自由和多样性更能使我找到我所需要地表达方式。只有在一种直觉状态下地自由创作,我的作品才能比较贴近自己,比较准确地表达自己的意图。

Daily Lives

Creating art is a process of self-examination, and this process enables me to collect my thoughts. We live in complex time that is in many ways defined by excessive want, greed, and waste. We all pursue a good life, but in this pursuit, do we really have choices? Without recognizing or aspiring to a specific destination, my art is a record of everyday life. This gives me an opportunity to look at myself more closely.

We all react to materials, whether we find them attractive or frightening. The desire for stuff makes one greedy and afraid at same time. We privilege finished commodities, but not how they are packaged. We shop at Safeway, but care little for the plastic shopping bags (unless we save them to collect more garbage). We ignore the cardboard used for packaging many of the goods we consume. We are overflowing with stuff, but this stuff must be made available to us and it has to be packaged. This packaging embodies a history and its own special language. Releasing plastic bags and cardboard from useless connections to human character enables one to redefine them. Perhaps they point to new concepts. Maybe their individual qualities have been neglected with the development of the consumer society. These objects contain many meanings that overlap. They represent our lifestyles. Damage, chaos, survival, and fragility define their relationship with humans. Faith and doubt are expressed in the objects illustrating the relationships between complexity and balance, order and disorder, attraction and repulsion.

I try to move freely in my works. Vast space blurs the boundary of areas and life events melt into a repeated circle. This is both my life and my work.

日常生活

藝術創作是一個自我內省的過程,我可以借助這個過程得以梳理自己的想法。 我們生活在一個看似複雜實質匱乏,處處充斥著貪婪和浪費的時代。除了對物質生活的無止境的追求我們還有別的選擇嗎?擁有更多就像一個失去意識的對特定目標的索取。我的藝術作品就是對日常生活的紀錄。這讓我有機會更近距離地瞭解自己。

人對物質的反應,佔有和恐懼同時並存。過度的消費往往對於購物的包裝是毫不介意的。這些被忽略的包裝品塑料袋和紙板卻具有紀錄特性。過剩的物質又被過剩地包裝使這些包裝品本身就具有了其特殊的存在方式。將塑料袋和紙板自身所擁有的信息從無用聯接到人而從新定義,也許會帶來新的概念和提示。隨著消費社會的發展,很多被忽視的特質包含了多重含義。它們代表了我們的某種生活方式,破壞,混亂,脆弱定義了物與人的關係。在複雜與平衡,有序與無序,誘惑與排斥之間令人充滿疑慮。

我盡可能在作品中尋求自由的表達空間和模糊的邊界。瑣碎的生活成為一個重複的循環。這就是我的生活和工作。

A passage of '0'

Our keen awareness of life often transcends us to a realm of much deeper intuition ripened for our spiritual awakening. This spiritual awakening discerns the taste of an artwork. The realm of '0' has always inspired me to search for the rhythm of life's essence or its energy when released.

My works care more about life than a mere creativity expression of making arts. I've committed to connecting my life experience with life's changes evolving around the shape of '0'.

Often the ordinary objects in my life as tiny as a drop of water, a piece of withered wood branch or a handful of sand from nature can arouse my most delicate feelings for them. They frequently become my sources of inspiration to transform these '0s' into my artworks.

Because these materials come from nature and their simple elements among the creation, these subjects are my searches for the infinity without boundary. True beauty can only be discovered by ones who see the macro/ micro, subjective/ objective, art/ science, yin/ yang, east/ west,… and to have completed the incomplete. These contrasting properties strengthen my inner freedom to envision many imaginary spaces, their flexible elasticity, their infinite extension and permanency as implied by '0'.

'0' is my pursuit, a response to life's spirit essence or my Asian's taste of revelation in life. '0' has cleansed, filtered, distilled, accumulated and recorded every bit of my life experience to create an '0-energy' realm on canvas. The energy stored within '0' sphere is a condensed substance field to transform the complex to the common simple, the human physical to the divine and mystical. These imply a perpetuating force to continue along the ever changing universe.

Multiplying '0s' connected the fragmented visual points in the environment by giving birth to the organisms within the revolving circles of earth. Every object in life rotates around a full cycle of birth, beginning, crack, mutation, merge, death, end, rebirth as depicted in my '0' series. The revitalizing energy helped me tremendously to inject life into my arduous art making process. From these '0s', I have found my loss to replenish my future consistently. These joining power has energized my consciousness to express their fluidness and richness among the passage of time.

The spiraling '0s' reinforced my realization of the interrelated succession of the ecosystem. These '0s' refreshed myself with a 'beginner's heart' in the daily endeavors of mine. They always offered me a space or realm with progress to do a house cleaning of my mind to free my self-centered soul to reconnect with and resume an original spirit. When I little think of achievement or think of self, I've become a true beginner to really learn something. A beginner's heart often owns a gentle spirit of compassion. When my heart is compassionate, I then notice that I can start to re-examine the trueness of life and learn from life.

As an artist, I pray sincerely that my artworks may interact with viewers to initiate more caring heart for making the world a better place together where we all live with greater compassion.

For me, '0' is Zen, an awakening, a realization, a compassion surpassing the form or format. They recorded many traces I've treaded upon in life to seek the spirit within the living organisms via the language of their own to represent their portraits of nature.

'0' is Tao, it is in my passage rather than my path. As I looked into the spirit of cosmic change- I tried to register the eternal growth which returns to itself to produce new forms in harmony, in pureness and in oneness.

“0”的轨迹

“0”成为我艺术表现上的一个焦点是因为它超越了我们通常认为的形状和意义,进入了一种即简单又复杂的深层精神领域。 像是一条河流,“0”形象沿着我的思维途径,展现给我一个无限的想象空间。

“0”作为一个自然界中最为基础的形状,遍及于我们生活各个层面的内部与外部,以最为极限的体量单位支配着万物;“0”也像是一把打开对自然界认识的钥匙,以一种引导性的力量,提供给我一个切入点。

在事物的内在因素中,无论阴/阳,虚/实,混乱与规律之中,都隐涵着一种极为真实的精神性。“0”提示给我的是一种巨大的可能意识,使我可以进入一个有意义的形态,挑战我对生存与真实的理解能力。

“0”是一种催化剂,令我对事物表面的认识与幻觉上升并运作为我内在的观念与精神,把真正的自我裸露于我的作品之中。

“0”容涵了时间与空间。是一个无限的依赖于精神的再现。

创作材料的选择也是一种非常重要的艺术表达方式。我使用沙---天然的岩彩是因为沙的自然属性使我感到熟悉,随手可以触及但又随时可以忽略它的存在。这种单纯的材质使用使我更容易放弃不必要的细节描述,保持相对纯粹的效果去更准确地把握作品的内涵。

创作的本质是关念的表达, 无论我们使用何种材料与表现方式,其拓展空间是存在的。只有在不局限于一种固有概念的约束下,思维与表达的自由才能实现。

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