'The greatest tool in painting is colour, because colour has the greatest way of manipulating perspective.'

Louise Zhang 张露茜 is a Chinese-Australian multidisciplinary artist whose practice explores the dynamics of aesthetics, contrasting the attractive and repulsive in order to navigate the senses of fear, anxiety and a sense of otherness reflecting her identity.


Zhang's  work is inspired by horror cinema, Chinese mythology and botany, adopting and placing symbols and motifs in compositions of harmonic dissonance. Her practice explores Chinese mythology – paintings, sculptures and scroll-like banners that incorporate demons, dismembered body parts and organs drawn from anatomy books – overlaid with illustrations of flowers, bones, scholar rocks and auspicious imagery presented in a sugary palette. The aim is to create a visual cacophony, a disjointed and disorientating mash-up of symbols and imagery in an attempt to in part reconcile and make sense of the fissures and contradictions that define her own identity.


As a ‘third culture kid’ with a strict Chinese-Christian upbringing, engaging with or learning about the superstitions that form such an inherent part of Chinese mythology and culture was and, at times still is, understandably, discouraged. Likewise, her teenage love of western horror films and gothic subculture, and her art making practice in general, were derided by her Chinese-Christian community as being sources of anxiety and depression at the time. By researching and integrating these seemingly disparate sources of artistic inspiration into her works, Zhang documents her attempts at both constructing and deconstructing her own personal and cultural identity.


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