Xi Zhang’s recent paintings explore what it is to be human—to grow and evolve, to navigate relationships, and, often, to struggle. Placing his protagonists amid dream-like landscapes, reality becomes tangled with the complicated nature of how we perceive ourselves, others, and our surroundings. It is in these psychologically driven, often ambiguous narratives that Zhang compassionately depicts universal moments of struggle. Here, he aims to uplift the viewer—to inspire hope and let us know that we are not alone in moments of turmoil and tribulation.
“My recent series Metallic Leaf Garden explores the way individuals’ minds reshape their physical environment. Contemporary psychological theory allows that our consciousness, emotions, and subconscious can be akin to the “paint” that consistently colors our reality. My investigation incorporates a variety of individual psychological realms, depicting them in fictionalized surroundings that confuse the relationship between perception and reality. I utilize a mixture of expressionist/abstract aesthetics in a subtle, theatrical way to construct the characters’ environments, reflecting on their internal thoughts, struggles, personality, and/or problems.” – Xi Zhang
Xi Zhang is one of the most courageous painters in the world today. His Metallic Leaf Garden series is a sprawling, riveting exploration that reads like the diary of a time-traveler, depicting humanity at its most vulnerable. Zhang’s imagery is a salve for the soul, a reminder of both the beauty and brutality inherent in the world around us.
View the simulation of the exhibition and interview with Xi Zhang on VIMEO
Zhang was awarded the prestigious Grand Prize in Painting in 2020 for Art Saves Humanity presented by NYC organization See | Me. (Jurors Jerry Saltz, Brendan Ciecko, Christine Kuan, Marine Tanguy, Poppy Simpson and Ariel Adkins)