86. Liang Zhang
October 27-November 30, 2023
Opening reception Friday October 27, 4-6 pm during TRYST, an international art fair for artist-run-spaces run through the Torrance Art Museum and the City of Torrance. In the Del Amo Crossing office building: 21515 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance, CA 90503. The fair remains open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday October 27, 28 and 29, 12-6 pm. From October 29 to November 30, online.
In this work the Proxy gallery is both the container and also part of Object #2, since it, too, is made of natural material, wood, just like the ceramic and rope of Object #2. In her work, Liang Zhang emphasizes formal qualities: the hard and the soft, the calculated and the free form, the purchased and carefully tied rope and the hand-made clay object. The clay is Calico clay, looking and feeling like concrete, but in a light brown color.
The object Object #2 seems to have an affinity with the Mono-ha art movement in Japan and Korea of the late 1960s and early 70s that insisted on the primal properties of matter and the importance of labor, as opposed to the primacy of ideas emphasized in conceptual art at the time.
For Zhang, the linking, twining and intertwining play a big role both in the construction of the piece and in their symbolic social dimension: like many abstract works, it also claims to speak of the society we live in. We are bound and bonded and made stronger by these connections. In her work Zhang often uses two elements, both juxtaposing and connecting them. You need to have difference in order to connect, not merge into one. The two elements are never combined to form a single harmonious entity, and that sense of connected separateness without fusion is important in the work of Zhang. For her, it is tension and friction that create relationship. While rope also binds and ties, it is different from, say, metal chain.
A little off center of the square ceramic mass is a mysterious rectangular “hole,” an absence defined by its edges, perhaps the letter “I” as in “I, myself” or perhaps a window if we read Object #2 as a wall in an architectural sense.