"Body, Self, and Identity: Stella Zhang and Hong Chun Zhang"
Venue: NanHai Art, Millbrae, California
Exhibition Period: July 27 – August 30, 2019
Stella Zhang will participate in a dual exhibtion “Body, Self, and Identity: Stella Zhang and Hong Chun Zhang” at Nanhai Art in California this summer. Stella’s works continue to show very clear, strong, feminist statements in this new show.
Stella Zhang’s art is about the body. Muscle, fat, flesh, and skin are represented in various materials including fabric, acrylic paint and metallic thread, and in various formats – including painting, sculpture and installation. The tension between their visual and haptic aspects draws the viewer into the kinesthetic and physiological process of their making. Zhang’s choice and use of materials connect her to numerous women artists of the past several decades for whom the body and its imperatives are central concerns. Consider the painting and sculpture of Louise Bourgeois, Lee Bontecou, and Yayoi Kusama, as well as Sonia Gomes, Shinique Smith and Kaari Upton, all of whom reorient textile-based craft and applied arts into a language of feminist critique. Like them, Zhang pushes materials associated with women’s work and formerly of low status – fabric and thread – into emblems of power and desire. Zhang employs slits, ovoids, or gaping holes in a pictorial field of monochrome or near monochrome color featuring centrally located openings. She also employs other actions, such as wrapping and knot ties, twists fabric and bulges stuffed with cotton batten – displace the primacy of the opening – replacing wholeness with messy landscapes of creases, bunching and folds. The actual physical rending of fabric is an undeniable recognition of a more turbulent and psychological relationship within the self and a manifestation of a restless soul.