Introductory Essay – DAQI as Medium

Painting of flowers that used mother-of-pearl, toner, wood, ramie, tile ash. dimensions: 27.2 x 27.2 x 2.4 inches. date: 2018.
Photograph of Wenzhi Zhang with her sculptures

Wenzhi Zhang’s artwork convenes with life, driven by her intuitions and perceptions. She can be considered a Renaissance woman, embracing all variety of materials to create unique art forms. Her work conveys a philosophy rooted in her historical and sociological upbringing. Zhang’s work should not only be examined as a presentation but as a presence, expressive of her self-being tied inseparably to her personality, a fundamental position from which she views human experience.

For thousands of years, Chinese artists have been constantly developing artistic expressions, evident even in the most utilitarian vessels. Wenzhi Zhang reaches another level in this long, honorable tradition and her social interpretations have added new dimensions to the meaning of art. We cannot describe her work better than Dr. Zhenhua Sun, Dean of the Shenzhen Sculpture Institute, who stated that Zhang strives to move us through her art’s tensile force while reflecting the world in her heart. The use of deep colors in all of her work articulate way of life as a pursuit of happiness, in contrast to the struggle with the materials she puts to her service in order to express her aesthetic vision.

Each work speaks volumes about her feeling for life and draws us closer to human relationships within our own proximity, as our chief point of reference. She describes the accumulation of the work in her studio akin to a family. Wenzhi’s creative style goes beyond the meaning of unique in the sense that each piece has its own place within the whole and each can stand on its own. Like a parent, she feels it is her place to protect her works while they are maturing and to teach us the way they should take part in our lives.