Making Waves is creating a statement that challenges viewers’ eyes and minds. In this show, I combine long hair (my identity) with nature (water, wind and Kansas prairie) to present 6 large charcoal drawings that reflect traditional skills and contemporary ideas.
I use disembodied long, black, straight hair to refer to my own identity as a Chinese woman, sister and mother, and at the same time to create something that is beyond hair. I adopt the composition and process from traditional Chinese fine style ink painting. These drawings are presented on scrolls to accentuate the length and the flow of hair. The ceiling to floor size creates a monumental scale and three-dimensional effect.
The detailed process is time consuming. Each finished image is built up through many layers of charcoal. The highlight and white background are carefully rendered and erased, creating a cohesive image of hair and other elements such as water or wind. The process is meditative, and it is about control of body and mind.
A Chinese born and US based artist, Zhang received BFA in Chinese Ink Painting from Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing (1994). In 1996, she came to the USA and graduated with MA degree from Sacramento State University in 2002 and MFA from University of California Davis in 2004. Hong currently lives and works in Lawrence Kansas. “Making Waves” is her first solo show with Haw Contemporary in Kansas City.
Zhang’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including National Portrait Gallery (Washington DC) Asia Society Texas Center (Houston) Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles) The Museum of Contemporary Art Norway (Oslo, Norway) Central Museum (Utrecht, Holland), The 3rd Chengdu Biennale and The 9th Shanghai Biennale (China), Ink Studio (Beijing), Galerie Steph (Singapore), San Francisco Chinese Culture Center and BRIC Rotunda Gallery (Brooklyn). Her work can be found at Sylvain Levy/ DSL Collection (Paris), The White Rabbit Collection of Contemporary Chinese Art (Sydney), The Ministry of Culture of China (Beijing), The Origo Family Collection of Chinese Ink Paintings (Zurich), Spencer Museum of Art (Lawrence, KS), Ulrich Art Museum (Wichita, KS), and the Kansas City Collection. She is the recipient of the Skowhegan Artist Residency Full Scholarship (New York 2003), Dedalus Foundation MFA Fellowship (New York 2004), and Pollock Krasner Foundation grant (New York 2006). Recently, Zhang was awarded a one month artist residency at Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy this fall (November 2015).