Bo Zhang

Cat Claws
Resin over fiberglass
28 x 32 in.

Self Portrait
mixed media (hair, air filter)
36 x 16 in.

In the past two years, most of my works have dealt with such gender issues as sexuality, femininity, masculinity and duality of female and male. Instead of using figurative elements to reveal my interpretation of sexuality, I chose some common objects that attached a sexual evocation to me. Such things as bottle, mascara, octopus, sea grass, human hair and animal body part. They became metaphors in my works and evoked an ambiguous sexual sensation.

Cat Claws is one of my “Nail” sculpture series. I use resin to incorporate with the process of printmaking, as well as manipulate the shape of fingernail with curved flexible pipe to create not only the giant sculptural human fingernails, but also animal claws, some real, some mythological. Through an exploration of human fingernails and animal claws, I attempt to reveal the ambiguous duality in a realm where human fingernails and animal claws evoke a sensation of beauty and danger. These sculptures examine both the physical and symbolic qualities of my subject. Using a body part as metaphor, I also attempt to pose a question about the standard of women’s beauty in modern society. The work contrasts the significance of the fingernail in Eastern and Western cultural traditions.

In Self Portrait, I placed a thread of my hair in the center of the air filter to evoke a sense of female body. The hair became a metaphor to play a dual role in my work. It represents the masculine power of male’s braid (Chinese cultural tradition in Qing Dynasty), simultaneously; it also represents a feminine sensation of female hair.

© Bo Zhang