Xi Zhang and Kathryn Wingard
Xi Zhang Statement:
My art is a reaction to social media platforms, pop culture, and globalization. Today, massive commutation and interaction occurs between individuals, communities, and countries through digital media and wide-spread use of continuously changing social platforms. The ease of "virtual" travel blurs traditional references relating to identity and culture, creating a dual existence between the physical and virtual realms. This hybrid phenomenon emerges from every culture, leading to uncertainty. In my painting practice I combine technology-based pop-icons - from sources such as Facebook, video games, cartoons and advertisements - with historical icons such as classic Asian and European paintings, traditional photography and ancient calligraphy, as a way of processing our hybrid culture under the impact of technology and globalization.
The twelve different bodies work I have developed to date each have their own unique aesthetics, though some series maintain multiple aesthetics. In each I strive to depict a landscape of uncertain living environment: west versus east, old versus new, local versus globe, physical versus virtual, low art versus high art. Beyond my often psychedelic coding is a path that challenges the viewer to consider each element separately, deconstructing them until they no longer carry their original tags.
Xi Zhang Bio:
Born in 1984 in Kaifeng, China, Xi Zhang has been immersed in the practice of art throughout his entire life. Upon completion of his studies in painting at China's Beijing Institute of Art and Design, he moved to the United States to further his artistic training at Denver, Colorado's Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from RMCAD in 2008, and that same year was recognized by then Denver Post art critic Kyle MacMillan as the "Emerging Artist of the Year" for his "well developed, surprisingly mature vision." Zhang continued from there with his masters studies in painting at the University of Colorado, Boulder, receiving his MFA from the institution in 2011. That same year he was named one of the "12 Best Colorado Artists Under 35" as well as one of seven "Pathfinders" in the arts also by MacMillan in the Denver Post.
Zhang has presented his work in a number of notable solo exhibitions including "12921" at Rule Gallery, Denver, "Shows Promise" at the Jeppessen Terminal of Denver International Airport, and "11 Ceremonies" at Plus Gallery, Denver. In 2011 he was commissioned by CNN for their "Ripple" online international art project in commemoration of the ten year anniversary of 9/11, with his painting receiving more than four million hits from the news channels website. Later that year Zhang delivered a Logan Lecture at the Denver Art Museum as part of the prestigious series' fall focus on International Contemporary Chinese Artists. In 2012 Zhang received his United States citizenship as an "Artist of extraordinary ability," paving his way forward towards a career as a US-based artist. His work has been acquired by some of the most prominent contemporary collectors and curators in the state of Colorado.
Xi has been in the Artnaut since 2012.
Kathryn Wingard Statement:
My forms are inspired by my memories as well as my daily experiences and my emotional reactions to them. For me, creating is a form of play in which I formally investigate thoughts and feelings, memories, desires, and expectations. Whether I’m working in a controlled or a spontaneous method, process is very important. By rearranging different components of each piece and by using traditional as well as unconventional ways of working with a material, I attempt to discover new relationships among the things around us.
Kathryn Wingard Bio:
Kathryn Wingard is an artist residing Salt Lake City, Utah. She recently received a Master of Science in art therapy with a concentration in counseling from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Though she now works in several different media, Kathryn has a fine arts background in sculptural ceramics. In 2008 she graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a BFA in fine arts 3-D, with a concentration in ceramics. After graduating, she left Boston and went on to continue studying fine arts with the graduate department of ceramics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. While in Colorado, Kathryn was a resident artist at the Paukune Wanner Art Hause in Severance, Colorado, and the Showpen Residency in Denver, Colorado. Kathryn has shown throughout the United States as well as internationally.