"Natural Lacquer" paintings by renowned Chinese artist Wenzhi Zhang will be exhibiTed August 21 – October 4, 2012 at The Joy Wai Gallery (122 West 18th St.).
Chinese Lacquer is the processed sap from lacquer trees that has been an integral component of Chinese decorative art from early times.
Zhang, who teaches at the well respected Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in China, has transformed traditional lacquer technique into a medium of modern abstract painting.
"To understand Wenzhl Zhang's pictorial goals, one must see them as emerging from a long Chinese tradition," said gallery owner Joy Wai. "Traditional Chinese painting has from the beginning depended above all on the expressive quality of line. This has been combined with a deep intuition concerning the dynamic register peculiar to each primary color along with its modulations of shade, tint and tone and may be likened to the sound modulations of a musical instrument or the human voice. Wenzhi Zhang's work incorporates fully this tradition. But not only does Chinese brushed calligraphy express intelligible, verbal meaning but palpable emotion in the balletic sweep, surge and rhythm of its contours and forms."
Added Cole Harrell, the gallery's art director, "Her paintings reflect her experiences, where the strokes and the layers voice her honesty, passion, and most importantly, her reverence for this lost art. Her works 'Sacred Calligraphy Serial' and 'Landscapes Serial' are narratives that leave an indelible mark on contemporary art."
Wenzhi Zhang was born in Guangzhou, China. She holds a MFA from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the Seoul National University of Sciences and Technology in South Korea. Her works are represented in prestigious private and public collections, including private collections of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, the National Art Museum of China, Malaysia National Art Museum, Norway National Museum of Art, Korean Palace Kiln Museum and many other university museums. She has lectured internationally in many universities and has written several textbooks.
More recently, she created the work "Women of Esther." Esther was a queen of Ancient Persia and heroine of the Festival of Purim who used compassion and empathy to enlighten her king and save her people.
"Wenzhi Zhang is an important artist whose work helps bridge the Chinese and Jewish communities that comprise the landscape of the Lower East Side," said Michael Bolla, a patron of the artist, a leading real estate developer and a proponent of the preservation of lower Manhattan.