Zheyi Zhang: Unseen Window

14 Jun 2024 – 29 Jun 2024

Regular hours

13:00 – 17:00
13:00 – 17:00
13:00 – 17:00
13:00 – 17:00
13:00 – 17:00

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Travel Information

  • A,C, E, 4,6,J,Z, N,Q, R to Canal Street
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Chinese American Arts Council/Gallery 456 is pleased to present Zheyi Zhang: Unseen Window.


For over twenty years, Zheyi Zhang's art has consistently grown within the context of his self-identity. Beyond the main trajectory, he meticulously trims the offshoots, creating interconnected and mutually nourishing works that span oil paintings, printed-over-paintings, oil pastel on paper, sculptures, and large public art installations. Zheyi Zhang's creations constantly intertwine with logical clues, often extending into unfamiliar artistic domains, which keeps his interest in his own art alive and sparks a more vigorous creativity and diverse forms of artistic expression, especially when placed in new environments.

After settling in New York in 2022, the subway took Zheyi Zhang to various corners of the city. The vast information from the city ignited his inspiration, yet an Unseen Window always seemed to separate him from the city. When Zheyi Zhang opens it, he intimately interacts with the world outside; when he closes it, he retains an insightful and detached observation, intending to capture the world outside the window. One day, by chance, he took out a Metrocard from his pocket and began painting on it. This simple and straightforward way of creating was a form of relaxation and simplification for him. While creating these works, he didn't ponder much over conceptual issues but was simply satisfied with meeting his own aesthetic needs and expressing the freshness of New York's daily life. Time flew by, and Zheyi Zhang completed nearly a hundred works on Metrocards, leaving behind a series of visual diaries. This small card, which has accompanied New Yorkers for thirty years, has now become part of his artistic language.

Compared to other countries where Zheyi Zhang has lived, the postal system in the United States is more deeply integrated into people's lives, and checking the mailbox has become part of his daily routine. Consequently, mailed advertisements became his new creative materials. Zheyi Zhang painted his visual diaries on these advertising mails printed with his name and address, using the transparent film on the envelopes to create a viewing space with a window. With this mental Unseen Window, he can place himself in an ideal vacuum, coexisting harmoniously with his observation objects without interfering with each other, striving to keep his works both rational and emotionally rich. Gradually, some of these daily sketches became new sources of inspiration for Zheyi Zhang's creations. After deepening and developing, they transformed into brand new works, a surprising outcome he might not have anticipated. This exhibition will showcase some of Zheyi Zhang's new oil paintings, displayed alongside a portion of the small earlier works that inspired them, creating an intriguing reflection of their origins. Of course, some large-scale works cannot be exhibited in this gallery due to space constraints, such as the public art installation "A Vision of the World", completed in Long Island in 2023 with his artistic partner, and some outdoor installations and framed works created in China in recent years. Some exhibitions can capture the full context and style of an artist, while others offer a glimpse of only a part. There is a third type of exhibition that manages to do both—summarizing the overall style while meticulously presenting details. Zheyi Zhang's creative system sometimes revolves around different exhibition themes. According to his plan, this exhibition belongs to the third category.

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Zheyi Zhang


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