Ziping Wang is a Chinese contemporary artist known for her surreal, boldly coloured paintings. Drawing from visual sources ranging from the historical to the contemporary, Wang explores the conception of reality and image modification in the age of digital technology.Read More
Ziping Wang holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (2017) and an MFA from the Pratt Institute, New York (2020). Drawn to the bright colours and patterns of commercial packaging from early on, Wang briefly worked in commercial illustration, producing a comic-strip review of the 2019 Frieze art fair for Hyperallergic. The crisp edges and whimsical compositions found in her early works would continue into her later practice, which interrogates the process of image design and modification.
The sources of Ziping Wang's images range from contemporary commercial packaging (When You Walk in the Dark, Don't Mind the Moon, 2021) to motifs from traditional Chinese and Japanese art (Painting for the unsung bird, 2020). Having gathered images, the artist often arranges them into collages or digital sketches that serve as the basis for her paintings. The resulting paintings reproduce fragments of recognisable patterns and objects, reflecting the overwhelming excess of images in both the digital and real world.
At times, Wang's paintings include the grey-and-white grid used to delineate the transparent layer of an image in Photoshop. Instead of being transparent, however, the grids in works such as Unopened Cream Soda and Floating dream (both 2020) appear to occupy space without clearly specifying their relationship with the other elements in the picture.
While inundated with everyday forms, Ziping Wang's paintings are intended to be incomprehensible. In her interview with She Curates, the artist said that she was inspired by the coded language of Chinese activists, who communicate using synonyms and slang to avoid censorship. By refusing to yield coherent narratives, Wang exposes the arbitrariness of what we perceive as being real. In Wild expectation of others (2019), for example, the central seated figure may seem to serve as an entry point for the painting. However, their face is veiled by their hair, and sections of wallpaper-like patterns and colourful balloons surround them without signifying their purpose.
Ziping Wang has exhibited internationally, with selected solo exhibitions including The Other Landscape, Unit London (2021); 3x3, Galerie Marguo (2021) (online exhibition); Sentimental Touch, Unit London (2020); Artificial Delicacy, Gessoisland Artspace, Shenyang, China (2019); Daydreaming, J. Yuan & Associates LLC, New York (2019); and The Unsettling Garden, Space Feng @ Luv Tea, New York (2018).
Group exhibitions include Platform 2020, Winston Wätcher Fine Arts, New York (2020); The Garden of Forking Path, The Wall MINI Project Space, Beijing (2019); Art Book in China, Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum (2017); and Art Factory, Jolie Gallery, Shenyang (2015).
In 2020, Wang was featured in Saatchi Art's Rising Stars: 35 Under 35 list.
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Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2021