I am thrilled to present my body of work for consideration in a solo exhibition, as it delves into my passion for merging organisms and the precise grid system, and the profound impact these systems have on individuals. Nature serves as a central theme in my artistic exploration, specifically examining the intricate relationship between nature and humanity. Through my work, I aim to illuminate the stark contrasts between body and mind, organic and artificial, and the interplay of control and the uncontrolled.
The driving force behind my artistic practice lies in the creation of sculptures and installations. These mediums allow me to channel my energy and creativity towards addressing pertinent issues concerning the strict regulations and the inherent softness of nature within our contemporary society. By juxtaposing organic forms with the rigidity of the grid system, I seek to challenge conventional perspectives and provoke dialogue surrounding our intricate relationship with the natural world.
Nature serves as an endless source of inspiration, and my artistic pursuits explore the complexities of our existence within it. I am deeply fascinated by the delicate balance between imposed order and the untamed chaos of nature. Through my sculptures and installations, I aim to capture this dynamic tension, urging viewers to contemplate the implications of rigid control and the intrinsic fluidity of the natural world.
Moreover, my work extends beyond the physical realm into the realm of ideas and emotions. I strive to navigate the contrasting forces that shape our contemporary existence, igniting conversations about the interdependence of organic and artificial elements. By creating immersive environments and thought-provoking installations, I invite viewers to experience the profound impact of these contrasting elements and reflect upon their own connection to the world around them.
In this solo exhibition, I aim to engage audiences on a visceral and intellectual level, prompting them to consider the ever-present contrasts that shape our lives. Through a variety of sculptural and installation pieces, I seek to evoke emotions, spark introspection, and initiate dialogues on the delicate interplay between control and spontaneity. By addressing issues related to the strict regulations and the inherent softness of nature, I hope to encourage viewers to question societal norms and explore their own connection to the natural world. Overall, my artistic practice is driven by a deep curiosity and a desire to explore the nexus of organisms and the precise grid system, and its profound effects on individuals. Through my sculptures and installations, I strive to shed light on the intricate relationship between nature and humanity, inviting viewers to contemplate the contrasts between body and mind, organic and artificial, and the interplay of control and the uncontrolled. I am eager to share this body of work in a solo exhibition and engage with audiences in an immersive and thought-provoking artistic experience.
张亮 (Liang Zhang) ，当代艺术家，现生活和创作于洛杉矶，于2015年获得华盛顿大学跨学科视觉艺术学士学位，2018年于洛杉矶奥蒂斯艺术与设计学院获得美术硕士学位。是“2019年LA Artcore第5届年度评选展”第一名获得者，在2022年获得“第21届日本国际艺术交流展览”的荣誉提名，并在2020年和2023年分别获得了Grey Cube Gallery的“黑与白”展的荣誉提名和优异奖。其作品曾在美国、意大利、奥地利、德国和日本展出。
Liang Zhang is a contemporary artist who currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She obtained a Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts from the University of Washington in 2015 and a Master's degree in Fine Arts from Otis College of Art and Design in 2018. Zhang was the first-place winner of the "5th Annual Juried Exhibition" by LA Artcore in 2019. She received an Honorable Mention at the "21st Japan International Art Exchange Exhibition" in 2022 and received Honorable Mentions and Excellence Awards at Grey Cube Gallery's "Black and White" exhibitions in 2020 and 2023. Liang Zhang's works have been exhibited in the United States, Italy, Austria, Germany, and Japan.
Liang Zhang's art mainly utilizes sculpture and installation as media. Through special treatments of materials such as clay, ropes, soft fur, and chains, she explores how to find infinite breakthroughs in a limited world. The interaction between nature and humanity is a recurring theme in Zhang's research. Nature sets boundaries and various constraints, while humanity explores different possibilities within these rules. Her sculpture works often combine intriguing and captivating materials, evoking contemplation on the delicate balance between imposed constraints and uncontrollable chaos in contemporary society.
此次张亮个展命名为融合之境(Converging Realms)，并于2023年7月27日在美国洛杉矶4C Gallery开幕，展览甄选了其近些年来的代表之作，通过作品及作品之间的组合关系，我们将共同感受到艺术家所传达的创作观念及艺术理念。“对话张亮”从字里行间中，更加立体的呈现艺术家最真实的创作初源。
Zhang Liang’solo exhibition opened on 27th. July 2023 at the 4C Gallery in Los Angeles, is called 'Converting Realms' . The exhibition selected her representative works from recent years. Through the combination relationship between works, we will jointly experience the creative concepts and artistic concepts conveyed by the artists. The "dialogue with Zhang Liang" presents the artist's most authentic creative origins in a more three-dimensional manner between the lines.
Q= 忻伊珊 Yishan Xin A= 张亮 Liang Zhang
Q: I’d like to begin by asking how did you come to art? What made you interested in art and kept you persevering in your creative pursuits?
A: From birth, we are inadvertently exposed to art, from the small decorations in our homes to visiting art galleries to appreciate various artworks. Art is inseparable from life, and life is intertwined with art. Serious study of art began for me in university, where I chose to explore and experiment with various creative mediums and categories, such as printmaking, bookbinding, graphic design, and ceramics. In each of these, I have always found endless enjoyment. I love witnessing my ideas gradually taking shape and eventually materializing into artworks. They represent a part of me and belong to my individual history.
Q: The title of your solo exhibition is "Converging Realms”. Could you please talk about the meaning behind it?
A: The exhibition “Converging Realms" centers around the amalgamation of two distinct elements: organic and grid. The "converging" implies the interweaving of these contrasting elements; and "realm" refers to the different domains or categories represented by the organic and grid, each with its unique characteristics. “Converging Realms" emphasizes the interconnectedness and interaction between the organic and grid, portraying them as dynamic and intertwined forces. Through this exhibition, I hope to delve into these realms and explore their inherent complexities.
Q: The works exhibited this time are all sculptures and installations. For you, what are the unique aspects of creating sculptures and installations compared to painting? Why do you prefer this three-dimensional and dynamic form of expression?
A: Regarding painting and 3D works, I lean towards the latter. Firstly, as a three-dimensional individual, I perceive and experience the world in three dimensions. Therefore, I want my creations to retain this three-dimensional quality, allowing for a more straightforward and direct understanding and interpretation of my work. Secondly, my artworks stem from my personal expression and dialogue with myself, so I want them to be akin to me, three-dimensional and multi-faceted.
Q: Your works primarily use materials like clay for the creative process. Clay is traditionally used for making various tools and containers, but in your works, you combine traditional ceramic techniques with contemporary art elements, transforming functional ceramics into non-functional pieces. Could you share what motivated you to experiment with and transform materials like clay? Through it, what kind of contemplation about life are you trying to convey?
A: As for ceramics, it is a material with a rich history and tradition widely used for creating various tools and vessels. However, in my creative process, I aim to blend traditional ceramic craftsmanship with contemporary art elements, transforming functional ceramics into non-functional art pieces. To me, clay embodies the essence of life's energy and constant change. Through the shaping and processing of clay, I strive to simulate the growth and transformation of life, conveying profound reflections on life. My artworks explore the diversity and complexity of life in the natural world. Using clay as the medium, I attempt to create organic and fluid forms while infusing contemporary art elements, breaking away from the functional constraints of traditional ceramics and transforming them into standalone art pieces. Through this transformation, I hope the audience can feel the vitality and metamorphosis of life and the close connection between living beings and the natural environment.
Q: Materials like clay pose significant challenges in art creation. Most of your works are left unglazed, maintaining the natural color of the fired clay body. When using clay to create sculptures, what are the main challenges you face? How do you overcome them? Also, how do you decide to retain the "imperfections," “irregularities”, or even "flaws" in your pieces?
A: Nobody is perfect, and nobody needs to be perfect, just like my artworks. I want to preserve the colors, textures and identities of the clay I choose, allowing the material's true appearance to be fully revealed. Clay tends to curl during the drying process if no external pressure i applied, and trying to force it flat could result in fractures. I see clay as a living entity, and I don't want to compel it to do something it doesn't want or cannot do. All "imperfections" are a part of its essence, just as I treat myself similarly—I do my best within my capabilities, but I won't force myself to do what I consider unnecessary.
Q: Your works explore the contrasting relationships between the body and the mind, organic and artificial, control and chaos. In the creative process, which parts are intentionally controlled, and which parts are the result of accidental experimentation?
A: The intentional control in my process mainly involves measuring and cutting, while the chaos aspect lies in the characteristics of the pliable material (representing society/world) in the ceramic parts (representing people). During the making process, I use various measuring tools to mark the sections that need to be cut from the clay slabs. Even though the measurement methods are consistent, due to slight angle variations, the cut pieces may not be identical for each part. Often, these tiny differences are hard to distinguish with the naked eye. In this process, I also incorporate human factors, making the artworks more rich and full. While the accessory parts are assembled onto the ceramic parts following a certain pattern, their variability and freedom provide me with more choices and room for expression.
Q: Although your sculpture works may appear static at first glance, careful observation reveals the entanglement, binding, and dangling of these threads, creating a unique tension, contraction, and fluidity in the pieces. What insights do you hope the audiences gain from this series of works regarding the intricate and complex relationship between humans and nature?
A: Through the forms and structures of the thread, I attempt to express the interdependence between humans and nature. The interweaving and entanglement of the threads symbolize our entwinement with the natural environment, revealing the inseparable and intimate relationship between us and nature. The structures and tensions created by these threads represent our interactions with the natural world, highlighting how we shape and influence each other in this intricate relationship.
Q: Lastly, could you please talk about the artwork "Cubicle” displayed in the center of the gallery? It stands out from the rest in terms of size, structure, and presentation. Could you share your creative intentions and the inspiration behind it?
A: This artwork consists of many equally sized square clay pieces that are interdependent, expressing the struggle within inherent patterns and the longing for freedom. Some of the clay pieces are systematically arranged, gradually dispersing towards the direction of windows and doors, disrupting the existing pattern. The humidity and temperature of the exhibition hall cause the moisture in each grid to evaporate and dry, resulting in unique changes every day, carrying various information from the space itself. Over time, the interconnected structure of these grids starts to collapse and scatter within itself, allowing the life within the grids to escape, leaving behind a landscape of ruins.
One important characteristic of contemporary art is its ambiguity in boundaries, where different media are appropriated, various forms intersect, and diverse expressions are blended. Liang Zhang's works exemplify this by interweaving and projecting complex spatiotemporal dimensions from both Eastern and Western, ancient and modern cultural contexts. She uses materials with distinct cultural connotations to present highly imaginative, visually innovative, and conceptually diverse art pieces. Liang Zhang combines synthetic materials with ceramics, transforming her artistic creation from the traditional core of figurative sculpture to installation art with certain site-specific characteristics. The traditional form and function of ceramic vessels are completely stripped and altered, metaphorically conveying philosophical contemplation and reflection on the interactions between organisms and grid systems and the impacts these systems have on individuals. Through the use of extraordinary materials, Liang Zhang creates unique works of art that not only arouse people's desire to touch them but also allow each viewer to find their own meaning in the process of engaging with her sculpture and installation works.
文：忻伊珊 Yishan Xin