Paper-cutting has a long legacy as an esteemed Chinese cultural tradition. Tang Zhengwei both reveres and subverts this artistic heritage by using the familiar format of Chinese visual culture to bring attention to social issues affecting today's society. Tang visually articulates the detrimental effects of ecological pollution in China through unique artistic metaphors. He takes the paper labels from plastic bottles and cartons and transforms them into unique representations as paper reliefs and sculptures. Fluidly breaking the two-dimensional boundaries of paper, Tang translates paper into monumental sculptures that underscores issues of pollution affecting people across China and beyond. This two-part workshop will consist of an art historical lecture by Julie Chun of a brief history of paper cutting in China. This will be followed by a hands on workshop conducted by the artist Tang Zhengwei who will guide the participants to create their own contemporary vision through the age-old process of paper-cutting.
Tang Zhengwei was born 1987 in Chenzhou, Hunan province, China. After graduating from the Mural Department of the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou in 2011, he continued his post-graduate studies at Beijing's Central Academy of Fine Arts and graduated from the Department of Experimental Art in 2018. In a range of experimental and conceptual work, he now concentrates on paper-cutting. Whether crafted from the label of a water or milk carton and also conceived as large-scale paper sculptures, his detailed paper-cuttings expresses the artist's deepest concern and interest on contemporary social issues, with an emphasis on carbon emission pollution. Tang's artistic practice stems from his research that visually exemplifies the ecological, social and economic implications on Chinese society and even the world at large. Tang Zhengwei's works have been exhibited in China and Japan, some of his notable exhibitions include the group show "Somewhere Only We Know" at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art and KWM Art Center in Beijing as well as the exhibition dedicated to the future of Chinese Folk Art in Ichihara Lakeside Museum in Japan.
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