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Stephen Zhang is an accomplished water media artist and design professor with a passion for creating large-scale watercolor paintings that showcase his fluid, expressive, and empathetic style. Born in China, he graduated from Luxun Academy of Fine Arts and received his MFA from the University of North Texas. In addition to his successful career as a design leader spanning over 20 years, Stephen is currently an assistant professor in Communication Design at the University of North Texas.

Stephen's artwork has received widespread recognition both nationally and internationally, with awards and features in numerous prestigious exhibitions and publications such as the Signature American Watermedia International Exhibition, Watercolor USA, American Illustration, Chinese National Art Exhibition, American Art Collector, and International Artist. Stephen's artwork has been sought after by private collectors and corporations, and his paintings have been exhibited at the US Embassy in Equatorial Guinea.

With a unique blend of artistic traditions from both the East and West, Stephen's work has captivated audiences around the world.

Artist's Statement

In my artistic practice, I strive to capture not only the external appearance of my subjects, but also their internal spirit and the stories they represent. My figurative paintings are a process of character exploration and emotional study, with each brushstroke contributing to the narrative and emotional depth of the work. My goal is to create work that not only pleases the eye, but also engages the mind and touches the viewer's emotions. I have a special connection to watercolor as a medium, as it enables me to bridge Eastern and Western artistic traditions. I appreciate the contradictions inherent in the medium, such as complexity and simplicity, control and letting go, and the permanent and the temporary. As I paint, I start with something that moves me and then allow the piece to find its own path through a process of unexpected discovery, non-linear evolution, and impromptu happenings.


Stephen Zhang's Watercolor Art

Video by Ariana Zhang

3 Questions with Stephen Zhang

Video by Art in Embassies

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