Art eats it’s young
Referencing this Taoist mythology, Zhang’s new paintings, sculptures and scroll-like banners incorporate demons, dismembered body parts and organs drawn from anatomy books, and cartoon-like ‘gore’ – overlaid with delicate illustrations of peonies, koi fish, scholar rocks and lunar imagery – all painted in the artists signature sugary palette. The resulting visual cacophony (a disjointed and disorientating mash-up of symbols and imagery) represents an attempt on Zhang’s part to reconcile and make sense of the fissures and contradictions that define her own identity. As a ‘third culture kid’ with a strict Christian upbringing, Zhang was discouraged from engaging with or learning about the superstitions that form such an inherent part of Chinese mythology and culture. Likewise, her teenage love of western horror films and gothic subculture, and her art making practice in general, were derided by her family as being sources of anxiety and depression. By researching and integrating these seemingly disparate sources of artistic inspiration into her latest series of works, Zhang documents her attempts at both constructing and deconstructing her own personal and cultural identity.