The birds in my painting are like the flight of youths that migrate into big cities everyday. We do not know their name, they have no identity and they have no recognition. They left their hometown, a place that they loathed and yearned, to seek a better life in the city. Many of them slogged and toiled to make good in the city.
And like the living environment of these migrant youths, the settings of my works are barren and somber. The subjects are free and lonely, seemingly blissful and sad. They are unsure of their place in life. They have yet to discover their own self worth.
And as they approach 30 – a milestone age in their lives, many struggle to live up to mounting expectations from society, their families and their partners. They experienced the tugged between burying their hopes and the onslaught of reality. Some leaped out of this stage and move on to the next phase of their lives. But alas, there will be those are left behind, with dreams unfilled, with each night falling into a slumber of lost aspiration.
The approaching 30s is challenging period in our lives. As someone once said, the years of hardship could possibly be joy too – a joy we know as youth.
LWH Gallery is proud to present ‘Solace of Youth’ – a collection of 29 works that reveals the intimate stories of the millions of Chinese village youth who have migrated to big cities in search of a better life. Created with fine point ink and watercolours, each of these works allows one to gain a glimpse into the complex emotions of migrant youths – their dreams and aspirations, despair and forlorn, romance and anxiety. For more images of Zhang Zuo’s artwork, click here
During the exhibition period, the Zhang Zuo will be at LWH Gallery, Shanghai on Saturday and Sunday afternoons to personally share his stories and inspirations behind the collection. For more information, email us at email@example.com