Artist Statement - Stephen Zhang's Art


I choose the specific subject to paint—be it a forest or a person—not only based on its appearance, but also its spirit and the story. My painting process is a process of character study and emotional development. Every time I add a stroke to the painting, I add another angle to the story, or a new shade of emotion. My goal is when a painting is finished, it not only pleases the eyes, but also stimulates the mind and awakens the emotion. Regarding my painting process, I have a special connection with watercolor, since it bridges Eastern and Western artistic traditions. The fluidity, unpredictability, and surprises in watercolor are all similar to the Chinese painting process. When I paint, I take advantage of contradictions inherent in the medium—between complexity and simplicity, controlling and letting go, external and internal, permanent and temporary. My painting always starts with something that moves me, and then it begins to find its own paths. Therefore, each of my work is a result of unique discovery, non-linear evolution, and spontaneous happenings. To fully explore this organic process, I choose to paint in larger-scale format.

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