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,

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,

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...


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。








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.


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。




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.


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。





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。




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.


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。



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”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。






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。