Stella Zhang - Translution

Galerie du Monde is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new conceptual works by Stella Zhang. The title Translution is a portmanteau of ‘transparent evolution’, which allows for the revealing or obscuring of contents held within at will. The exhibition showcases a visual reconciliation of the artist’s flickering memories and thoughts, deliberately and selectively making transparent those glimpses as they dart in and out of her peripheral vision. It is also a representation of Zhang’s progressive journey as an artist. Translution comes as the fourth collaboration between Zhang and Galerie du Monde, with a solo exhibition hosted by the gallery in 2015, presentation of the artist’s works by the gallery at Art Central in 2015 and in the Insights sector of Art Basel Hong Kong in 2016.


Comprised of a new installation, drawings and 3D works, Translution is an extension of the artist’s renowned 0-Viewpoint series and a broader development in Zhang’s oeuvre. 0-Viewpoint is an outward display of the complex inner landscape mapped by the artist’s emotions. In conjunction with this, Translution is an active reconciliation of the artist’s thoughts. Zhang believes there is a perpetual energy that leaves humanity in a state of flux, but this energy also drives creativity and keeps us moving forward. Zhang makes it her quest to contend with this information, ordering it in such a way that it transcends abstract sentiment into a tangible medium.


The highlight of the exhibition will be a site-specific wire installation, Translution (2018), made from scratch with an innumerable quantity of oddly shaped ‘wire balls’. The installation is positioned in the center of the gallery, allowing the audience to encounter the structure from a 360° perspective. Zhang’s predominantly monochrome palette will be extended to the walls, ceiling and flooring of the gallery. The minimalism found in both the exhibition’s individual works and the visual space as a whole seeks to enable viewers to engage with the notion of ‘translution’ on a deeper, more direct level, without the distractions of color.


Accompanying Zhang’s Translution wire installation will be 21 drawings on mylar from the Translucent series (2018) utilizing ink, charcoal and acrylic. These drawings, though conceptually loaded, also bear traces of traditional Chinese ink painting, in which Zhang excelled in the early stage of her artistic career. The drawings are oval in form and somewhat bodily in appearance, conjuring images of a fingerprint or an x-ray of an eye, attesting to the artist’s interest in the body, the overarching themes of humanity and the ‘mind’s eye’ that this exhibition explores.


In addition, there will be twelve 3D canvas works comprised of fabric that is pleated, pulled, knotted and stretched across a canvas, which boasts a decisive cut that leaves a significant hole, along with other fragments of miscellaneous material. While obvious references to female genitalia can be ascertained, the brutal tension that these works hold, with their wound-like cuts, attribute to a more complex introspection on femininity by Zhang and her own difficulties experienced as a female artist. Each of these works are different from the other, symptomatic of the spontaneous nature of their creation, as the artist reaches into her mind and pulls upon glimpses of  memories, transforming them into physical form.


Although highly personal to Zhang as an expression of her peripheral visions, the works of Translution present a certain universality that is open to all. Ambiguous and complex, these monochromatic pieces within the all-white gallery space create a meditative environment for viewers to venture into their memories, and to attain their individual ‘transparent evolution’. Such an engagement with this body of work on the part of the viewer transports the pieces from the physical, to the cerebral, and back to physical yet again, open to boundless possibilities, awakening the deepest desires.