Ping Zheng: Where Memories of Travels Go is the artist's first solo museum presentation in the US. It is the sixth installment of Aldrich Projects, a single artist series that features a singular work or a focused body of work by an artist every four months on the Museum's campus. Installed in the Museum’s Leir Atrium, this presentation debuts six new paintings on paper.
The title of the project, Where Memories of Travels Go, describes Zheng’s aim to be transported through a creative process in her pursuit of loftier dimensions. Her solitary journeying was initially a way to create refuge out of an oppressive childhood in China but evolved into a means to evade the entrapments of our impersonal digital world. Zheng takes inspiration from the varied and expansive landscapes she visits during the numerous artist residencies she has attended throughout the United States, Europe, and China over the last decade. She also cites artists that orbit many centuries and geographies who too made work that merge their experiences of the natural world with a special blend of personalized spiritualism. Her sources are wide-ranging and span ancient Chinese landscape painting and twentieth and twenty-first century visionary abstractionists like Hilma af Klint, Agnes Pelton, Georgia O’Keeffe, Judy Chicago, Matthew Wong, Joseph E. Yoakum, and Takako Yamaguchi. Working exclusively in oil stick, Zheng presses fingers to paper through energetic systems of intuitive and choreographed movements. She builds a distinctive and recurring lexicon of symbolic couplings that range from lighthearted rainbows and pulsating waterfalls, shadowy tree lines and glowing moonbeams, voluptuous mountains and rippling lakes, to cascading canyons and sunny orbs. The works are installed in a sequence that reflects the dramatic passage of light from daybreak to nightfall. Some works feature celestial objects and cosmic phenomena that underscore the unpredictable magic of our sizable planet.
This Aldrich Project will be accompanied by an 8-page 'zine.
Ping Zheng: Where Memories of Travels Go is curated by Amy Smith-Stewart, Chief Curator.
Ping Zheng was born in 1989 in Zhejiang, China and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received an MFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2016 and a BFA in painting from the University College of London, Slade School of Fine Art in 2014. Her works are included in the collections of JP Morgan Chase Bank, Fidelity Investments Corporate Art Collection, the Cleveland Clinic Art Program, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Top image: Ping Zheng, The Moon Illusion, 2022 Oil stick on paper. Private Collection