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Chinese Artist Uses Hair to Make Cultural and Family Connections

Photo of Hong Zhang
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Hong Zhang says her ink and charcoal drawings use “long, black disembodied hair as a metaphor for life force, sexual energy, growth, and identity.”

As a Chinese woman living in the United States, it’s not surprising that much of her work focuses on cultural identity and family connections. Zhang’s parents and her sisters are all artists.

“I was raised and surrounded by art,” she says.

Zhang says her move from China to the United States opened up new artistic possibilities and allowed her the chance to express herself on social and political topics.

“In China, the art content was pretty restrictive and controlled by the government,” she says.

Zhang has been working with Haw Contemporary since 2015. To see more of her work, watch the attached video.

Flatland is proud to launch “Behind the Mise En Scene,” a profile series that puts artists in the Kansas City area, their creative process and their inspiration – which ranges from history to identity – into frame. We are launching this series to shine a light on underrepresented artists. Only 11 percent of artwork in art museums is made by women. And nearly 80 percent of art in galleries are by white artists. 

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