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Louise Zhang


When we are introduced to a stupendously talented and previously unknown-to-us local creative we still get REALLY excited. Sydney artist Louise Zhang is once such recent find, and we’re super excited to introduce her  work today!

Louise graduated from UNSW Art and Design (formally COFA) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours in 2013.  Her vibrant paintings and amorphous sculptural pieces are an ongoing exploration of the middle ground between what we perceive as ‘cute’ and ‘grotesque’.

Our Sydney based contributor, Amber Creswell Bell gives us the full story.

11th June, 2015
Amber Creswell Bell
Thursday 11th June 2015

Louise Zhang is a Sydney-based emerging artist whose primary interest lies in the middle ground between what we perceive as ‘cute’ and ‘grotesque’. Having graduated from UNSW Art and Design (formally COFA) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours in 2013, Louise currently maintains a studio practice as well as undertaking a Masters by Research at the same university.

Louise describes her practice as concerned with the relationship between attraction and repulsion, through the investigation of forms via painting. ‘The space between these two notions contains a hub of ambiguous, conflicting yet complementing information that I find very interesting,’ she says. ‘The materiality of paint is core within my investigations, in which I adopt the form of the ‘blob’ as a vehicle for these expressions and explorations.’

Louise’s creative processes are multi-layered, involving lots of drawings – budding forms, plans for potential works, and random words, phrases and sentences that she records. ‘These drawings tend to reflect objects or occurrences from the every day that hold the ability to be absurd, dark or fantastical,’ Louise explains. Popular culture is also a source of influence, particularly film and children’s cartoons that contain elements of horror. ‘These act almost as cues to where potential forms may lead. I generally work on a few works at a time and tend to erase back or layer heavily’ the artist explains.

Louise’s work is currently included in two group shows, one at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (until July 5th) and another at Penrith Regional Gallery (until August 23rd).  The latter, entitled ‘Right Here, Right Now‘, brings together 20 contemporary Sydney artists working at the forefront of contemporary painting in Australia.

What’s next? Keep an eye out for Louise’s next installation in the form of a ‘monstrous, sludgy, blobby strawberry milk fountain’ at Firstdraft gallery in Sydney in July!

Louise Zhang is represented by Artereal Gallery in Sydney.

Sydney artist Louise Zhang in her studio. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email