My work focuses on surreal dreamscapes generated from the disorientation between physiological space and physical space, specifically through children’s eyes and bodies. I inject my paintings with autobiographical narratives through the use of anthropomorphic animals, fractured bodies, and other signifiers in undefined spaces. These juxtapositions represent the discordance caused by isolation and disconnection. As mental cognition separates itself from physical cognition (social reality), it creates a system of logic in an alternate reality that the brain would rather accept and receive as the truth. This disconnection is depicted as the consequence of escapism from the real world caused by mental illness, existential crisis, personality disorders, and trauma, thus inducing confrontation and antagonism between outer and inner space, which also resulted in the dehumanization of ego. The surreal quality of the imagery raises the questions of ‘what is real,’ ‘what is unreal,’ and ‘which side do we choose to immerse ourselves in.’ My paintings explore how microcosms of accumulated causes aggregate into unpredictable and dramatic consequences within macrocosms.
For this specific painting, “It,” I focus on the dehumanization of ego due to childhood trauma and parental emotional and psychological abuse which cause this person’s irreversible inability to build stable and trustable relationships with other humans. Instead of accepting their human identity, they choose to deny it, reject it, believing they will be able to prevent more hurts from other humans.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Zhaozaho Wang is currently based in the Detroit Metropolitan area in Michigan. Born and raised in Shanghai, China, she came to the US in 2011 and had received her BA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. With a painting practice focusing on surreal dreamscapes that cope with and illustrate mental illness, existential crises, trauma, and personality disorders, Wang has shown in local galleries such as the Wasserman Projects and online exhibitions held by Artsy, and her work was featured in publications such as New American Paintings. She was also a resident fellow at ACRE Projects Summer Residency.
© Zhaozhao Wang