At the heart of Meng Zhou’s work is a conversation between tradition and modernity. Through painting, sculpture and installation he attempts to merge and to transform classical Chinese symbolism and imagery using Western styles and techniques. His artistic project draws on poetic analogies of Chinese cultural history and myth that help to narrate his work.
Although his work may seem figurative in parts his subjects are always borne out of ﬁction, composites drawn from a combination of dreamscapes, collected images and anatomical research. Through his paintings Meng is interested specifically in the oscillation between figuration and abstract gesture and drawing out the specific moment when comprehensible figures or forms immerge from amorphous mass.
Meng’s cinematic oeuvre runs parallel to his painting and sculpture. The material immediacy of the camera allows his work to document and explore single incidents and narrates stories that hover between disconcerting dreams and reality.
The Cloud Gate is a lost Han Dynasty dance which is said to have venerated and demonstrated human respect for the great and unpredictable powers of nature. Digital drawing is becoming increasingly important in my practice and epitomizes my commitment to opening up spaces of conversation between tradition and modernity. I draw on the cultural and political symbolism of Chinese ink painting but render my images using computer software, creating a sense of tension within the image. The use of the digital medium enables me to speak in a distinctive aesthetic language which pulls apart my images into their constituent parts while still paying attention to their intrinsic and spiritual beauty.