The Other Landscape
The body of work that forms Ziping Wang’s upcoming solo exhibition, The Other Landscape, continues to explore the artist’s fascination with the modern-day abundance of imagery.
In today’s world, we have almost unfettered access to imagery through virtual portals, allowing us to revisit numerous moments and events visually. Equally, whether online or in our day-to-day lives, we are further inundated with commercialised imagery. More often than not, these images are highly modified, specifically designed to be attention grabbing. Ziping’s vibrantly saturated artworks, comprising layers of fragmented depictions, aim to document and record this profusion of endlessly diverse imagery.
“As a painter, I’m interested in the elusive nature of modified reality. I use my paintings to document these modifications."
Though she occasionally starts with a digital sketch, Ziping’s process normally takes shape from a selection of images that have spontaneously grabbed her attention.
She prints them to create a handmade collage before turning to the canvas. The end result is always fragmented, mirroring the contemporary condition of a whirring and frantic mind. However, every inch of these fragments is treated in the same way, with the same care and attention through a harmonisation of surface texture and paint consistency. The outlines of each fragment are completely clear and crisp as if produced digitally. After finishing one area, Ziping does not revisit it, almost mimicking the process of a printer to replicate the uniformity of a digitally rendered image. In this vein, the flatness of Ziping’s works is immediately striking as it serves to imitate the flatness of a two-dimensional virtual scape. To emphasise this effect, the artist includes areas of grey and white gridding in many of her paintings. Representative of empty digitised space, these grids interrupt and diffuse the brightly coloured imagery that otherwise dominates the picture plane. In this sense, Ziping’s works consciously trick the eye, appearing to be simultaneously digitised and handmade. Composed of these fragments, her canvases reveal and conceal numerous picture planes, interspersing Old Master references with pop cultural iconography to convey the contemporary phenomenon of information overload.