I enjoy playing on the edge of recognition. When my own memory blurs my impression of everyday objects and places, I find myself going through a journey trying to remember what things are. What I have accustomed to in daily life become unfamiliar then reemerge as new forms. The insecurity of losing memories intertwines with the joy of rediscovering them. I consider the process of painting an active participant in this back and forth learning experience. I respond to my thoughts visualized on the painted surface. I let the visual traces contextualize the whole image. My works lie in between representation and abstraction. I utilize the psychological potential of this unstable situation. Abstract forms situate themselves in an imagined environment of color and shapes. Together they give out clues to invite a fun experience of figuring out and rediscovering.

- Zihan Liang


Oil painting on stretched canvas

Signed on back

24" h x 18" w x 1" d
3 lbs. 0 oz.



Zihan Liang
Dongguan, China

Getting to Know Zihan

Zihan Liang is currently pursuing her degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As a student, she has experienced a shift in her approach to painting, migrating from a representational style to a more abstract, conceptual frame of mind. Inspired by what she examines and experiences within her metropolitan surroundings, Zihan’s work is a combination of architectural subject matter and an abstract expressionist style. The energetic brushwork, color, and sense of discovery provide a strong sense of emotion in the work. The paintings have a raw enthusiasm combined with a sense of conflict that only a young artist’s work can channel. They capture the critical, defining point of transformation in an artist’s oeuvre, in the midst of experimentation and search for one’s aesthetic individuality. Zihan starts a painting by depicting a place that is significant to her, and then relies on her her memory and intuition to capture an atmospheric quality. As she puts it, “these spaces, forms and objects do not stand purely on their own, but are coated by my judgments.”