Artazine: The impossibility of focus in Ziping Wang’s art

Chinese artist Ziping Wang captures the sensory overload of the digital age in her kaleidoscopic paintings.
Lorraine Lau, Artazine, 27 Sep 2023

At first glance, Ziping Wang’s paintings confound and overwhelm. Her new exhibition, “Traces of Love and Timeless Adventure,” offers a mishmash of unrelated visuals with no identifiable focal point: nostalgic snack packages, classical Chinese figures, and colorful geometric patterns all fight for space on the canvases. Yet this rush of stimuli speaks to the heart of Wang’s artistic practice, which takes a sharp look at the human experience of content consumption in the digital era.

 

Without directly referencing any websites or social media apps, Wang’s art easily conveys the claustrophobia of an “attention economy,” the social phenomenon in which information overload decreases our ability to focus on any particular topic. Interspersed with logos and product designs of popular brands such as Nissin cup noodles, Calbee potato chips, and Chupa Chups lollipops, each artwork mimics the endless loop of advertisements we sift through in the form of pop-ups, notifications, reels, photos, and refreshing feeds.

 

Presented by Galerie Marguo, “Traces of Love and Timeless Adventure” marks Wang’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong — a fitting theme, given the city’s global reputation as a consumer capital. While oil paintings are predominantly featured, the exhibition also includes ink drawings and the artist’s debut stainless steel sculpture, tbc.

 

In some way, the hodgepodge of elements is reflective of Wang’s multicultural artistic identity. Born in 1995 in Shenyang, China as the daughter of a professional artist, Wang pursued her arts education in the United States, earning a BFA at the Rhode Island School of Design followed by an MFA at the Pratt Institute. Now based in her home city, the young artist has embarked on a number of shows in Seoul, London, New York, and Houston, as well as Shenyang and Beijing.

 

Wang speaks with Artazine on the seeds of thought that sparked her career and her latest exhibition.

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