The Hive, Oil on canvas, 2019
The unorthodox shape of the canvas references the 1923 Goode map projection, an attempt to more truthfully depict the relative sizes of landmasses than the traditional Mercator global projection. The organic lines of the projection, which is often referred to as the ‘orange peel’ map, are presented in contrast to the crisp geometric shapes of the surrounding space while reflecting the iconic Wembley Stadium’s arch. The title of the work plays with the double meaning of the word fugue: relating both to a musical motif in which a phrase is repeated by two or more voices and begins to change; and to a psychological state of memory loss and the urge to travel to establish a new identity.
Vivien Zhang (b 1990, Beijing) is a London-based artist and grew up in China, Kenya and Thailand. Zhang is named on the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list, and is the recipient of the Abbey Award 2016-17 at the British School at Rome and the Chadwell Award 2014-15. She received her MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art (London) after completing her undergraduate at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL (London). Vivien Zhang's work reflects disjunctions one experiences as a third-culture citizen and also as a digital native. Zhang's paintings present a cultural and geographical fluidity that interrogates the palimpsest nature of contemporary culture, the casual appropriation of visual tropes, and the role of post-production in making works of art today. Zhang collates motifs and manifest them in various combinations in her paintings.
Visit her website here.