IFP welcomes Louise Zhang who is doing a 3-month residency supported by the Australia Council for the Arts.
Louise Zhang is a Chinese-Australian artist based in Sydney, Australia. Spanning painting, sculpture and installation, her work negates the space between the attractive and repulsive. With an interest in horror cinema, particularly body horror, Zhang investigates the idea of the visceral as medium, method and symbol in negotiating horror as art form.
My research has mostly been exclusive to western theories, cinema and art having been born, raised and educated in Australia. During my time in Beijing, I would like to research into East Asian popular culture that is centred around horror. I am particularly interested in exploring the concept and stories surrounding dìyù (Chinese Hell) as the quasi-original horror story of China and the use of níanhùa (Year Picture) from the late 70s-present as a symbolic universal visual language amongst the Chinese. I am bilingual (Mandarin and English) and with the help of IFP, would love to engage with academics who are professionals or students researching Chinese popular culture, horror, cinema and níanhùa in a collaborative effort to strengthen research and awareness in this area.
My understanding of horror outside of western cinema and art is very limited, and I believe being in Beijing along with the research opportunities available at IFP, will help a new understanding of the horror genre that is, from my understanding, so deeply rooted in superstition, mythology, and folklore. The goal is reveal horror as, relevant, approachable and deserving, in Chinese contemporary society that has so suffered under mainland censorship.
My idea of China and art in China is very limited having only visited Wenzhou. I believe this residency will not only serve as an introduction to the art world of China beginning with Beijing but also provide me with the opportunity to broaden, challenge and strengthen my artistic processes through the facilities available at IFP. Working with IFP will expand my awareness of the art world in China that I believe I cannot experience here in Sydney, Australia. This residency will also open up the opportunity to connect and engage with other residents, local artists, academics and arts workers on a professional level.