CANDICE MADEY and CHAMBERS FINE ART are pleased to introduce a solo exhibition of Miranda Fengyuan Zhang, Scattered Lines, marking the New York and Shanghai-based artist’s first in New York City. The exhibition will take place at CANDICE MADEY and presents work in fiber that are uniquely influenced by cross-cultural painting traditions–Chinese calligraphy and classical landscape painting, traditional oil painting of the Renaissance, and early 20th century abstraction.
Zhang sources inspiration freely, yet is exacting about process: knitted and woven works are visually distinct in character. The skillful gesture of calligraphy is visible in Zhang’s knitted works. Deft choices in yarn gauge and the use of fluid forms create a sense of movement and spontaneity not normally associated with knitting. Works made on a loom, meanwhile, require more rigid foundations. Here, Zhang draws on the legacy of oil painting—the underlying colors of the warp and the weft are treated like the base layers of an oil painting onto which other yarn choices will build a chromatically layered image. The soft palette and craggy forms of Zhang’s woven works are reminiscent of the mountains and skies of Chinese landscape painting. However, as in many landscape painting traditions, these references are less specifically attached to locale, centering more on ideas around poetry, philosophy, or political and social histories.
Zhang attributes her fascination with textiles in part to her family history. During a particularly hard time for her family in China in the 1970s, Zhang’s grandmother taught herself to knit clothing for her two young children. Yarn was difficult to find in this period, so as the children grew older, she would unravel their clothing, combining the reclaimed yarn with extra bits of materials to create new articles for them to wear. This history has led Zhang to question the immense waste caused by much of the fashion industry today; in her knitted works she primarily uses discarded yarn from factories in China and Europe.
Zhang cites embodied experience as a further influence for her compositions, giving physical form to memory, mood, and the metaphoric landscapes of her divergent homelands. The natural world is presented via the lens of the psychological and the subjective: this embodied subjectivity is visible in horizon lines, celestial bodies, and abstracted forms that may be creatures or plants in the foreground. A personal cosmology of color and form has evolved for Zhang that hints at the mediative or transcendental—reinforced by the repetitive and time- intensive processes of knotting, knitting, and weaving.
The title of the exhibition, Scattered Lines, refers to the structures inherent to Zhang’s material and process, and her contradicting desires to both disrupt and connect with history and tradition.
Miranda Fengyuan Zhang was born in Shanghai, China in 1993. She earned her BFA in studio art from NYU in 2016. Scattered Lines marks her first exhibition with Candice Madey and in New York City. Other solo exhibitions include Capsule Gallery, Shanghai; Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton; Half Gallery, Shanghai. She has been the recipient of the La Maison de l’Art Contemporain residency in Asilah, Morocco and will be an upcoming resident at the Arquetopia Foundation in Oaxaca, Mexico.