Archive: Other Serieses > 12921 series

2007 to 2008

Every person I paint is the same person, the one true person. My work explores what it means to be human, and how we relate to each other. By covering the faces of all of the figures, clothing them similarly, and masking-out their hair, I hope to isolate human energy and reveal the essence of our collected experience. We all come into this world the same, and depending on our life experiences, we create differing notions of purpose. They take a fatalistic view of their situation and succumb to the point of self destruction. I believe we can change these positions we find ourselves in; movement within the collected human experience is lateral. This movement is an underlying current of hope, running through my work. Yes, there are serious black faces, but they are also dotted with optimistic yellow, and eyes that reveal the soul of the one true person.

Conjoining abstraction and representation is an effective way for me to connect with the viewer and communicate these huge ideas. My interest and practice in Taoist philosophy is inherently easier to experience than it is to explain, and my work is much the same. By exploring surface textures and figure-ground relationships, viewers should get so lost in the mixing of colors, textures, background, and figures that they start to experience a piece and not just see it. Black and white are used prominently to acknowledge natural opposition. We need opposing forces to function; it’s a natural balance. When morals, conventions, and general expectations surround us, we forego who we really are and that’s when conflict arises.

I want to strip away all societal conventions and beliefs so that I may reveal the essence of being. My paintings come from a place where there are no morals, no men or women, no borders, no distinct skin or hair color; there is only human energy and the consequence of our connections to each other.

Xi Zhang

2007-2008 at Colorado