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O Zhang

Page 1 | Biography


Daddy & I -16
Daddy & I -16
By photographing adopted Chinese girls and their fathers in America, I try to capture the love between a female child and an adult male. What is the nature of this complex relationship, especially when different ethnic and cultural backgrounds are introduced?
Through the relationship of the emerging feminine power of the adolescent girl to the mature father, each image explores the relation of the two often divided cultures: East and West.
As the girls grow up, will they remain innocent adoptees under the tutelage of their western patriarchs? Or will their progression to maturity disturb the relationship’s equilibrium?
Daddy & I -9
Daddy & I -9
Chinagirl 3.
Chinagirl 3.
Chinagirl 2.
Chinagirl 2.
daddy & I-7
daddy & I-7
My inspiration is from the concept of "Rebellion is the rule", the slogan from Chinese Culture Revolution (1966 -1976). I try to produce a series of images that question current assumptions about the primacy of western power in my own understanding.

The installation of my photographs relays the gazes between a grid of young Chinese girls and the Western adult audiences.

From a remote village in central China, the innocent female children are in a position of powerlessness. However, their collective naive gaze, questioning the outside world, is very penetrating. The formation of their portraits into a grid suggests that the girls sit like a tiered group of theatre critics, looking out to the audience of strangers (sometimes Western adults), thus leaving the viewers vulnerable. By their sheer number the girls, a force of hope and of rebellion from oppression, will seem to pose a threat to the adults.

It is about East/West, masculine/feminine, adult/child, domination/submission. The little girls represent the new generation of China -- the revolutionary future.

Chinagirl 1.
Chinagirl 1.
O Zhang photographs small Chinese girls as they crouch down and stare back at the camera. Dominating the frame and the spectator, Zhang's little subjects offer oddly sinister and uncomprehending expressions. The West's self-conscious fascination with contemporary China reverberates through Zhangss portraits, which co-opt the brand-logo myth of childhood innocence and global harmony, making her endearing subjects alien, monstrous and threatening.

-- JJ Charlesworth (London art critic)
New York, NY
New York
North America

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w: http://www.ozhang.com




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