Chinese artist Hong Chun Zhang creates graphite drawings that replace everyday materials with ribbons, sheets, or swirls of shiny black hair. The works, titled Hairy Objects, are intended to be humorous while also a bit unsettling, allowing the beauty of hair to also repulse the audience when caught emerging from the spine of a book or the spout of a bathroom sink.
The surreal drawings also focus on her cultural identity, especially connections with her family in China, and her identity as a woman and sister. The hair represents a powerful life force, imbuing each piece with an aspect of herself.
In addition to graphite drawings, Zhang also creates ink paintings in the traditional Chinese fine style which requires applying ink from lighter to darker shades through eight successive layers. The technique is very realistic and time consuming, requiring years of specialized training. Hong studied at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing for four years, as well as learned from her parents who had a strong influence on her artistic style at a young age.
In addition to getting her BFA in Chinese painting from CAFA, Zhang received her MFA at the University of California, Davis. She currently lives and works in Lawrence, Kansas.
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