London | Beijing

Tones and Toes
Zhang Meng
April 29 - June 2, 2021

Tabula Rasa Gallery is pleased to present Tones and Toes, the first UK solo exhibition of the Chinese born and Germany based artist Zhang Meng. A body of large size charcoal drawings from the artist’s recent works will be on view from 29 April through 02 June at our London space. Through a variety of subject matters, the artist reflects her daily experience of living “in-between” different cultures and cities, accentuated by the ongoing tension under the global Covid pandemic. These “lockdown works” channel the artist’s yearning for peace, security and belonging.

While the use of wax recalls the Byzantian-Orthodox encaustic painting method used in Christian icons panels, the replacement of wood with parchment paper conveys a radically different emotional tone from the artist.
The monochrome aesthetic of these charcoal drawings echoes classical China’s Literati Paintings which prized poetry, metaphors and personal expression above mere likeness.

The names of Zhang’s drawings often provide a path to the artist’s mind. Consider the juxtaposition of the drawing “Holy Breakfast” with “Before Everything Falls Apart” and “At Nowhere II”: While the former alludes to the remanence of religious spiritualism as Zhang observes in the daily life of her traditional German household by marriage, the latter two titles allude to a world more delicate and transient.

With a sense of multiple-identity always underlying her living experience. Zhang’s tableau can be read as an enigmatic symbol of intercultural experience and an allegory for life in a world that has become boundless.

Zhang Meng (b.1983) is a linguistics scholar turned artist, lives and works in Karlsruhe, Germany. Through her works, she translates her experience of being a female Chinese artist living in Germany into wild imaginations of the collective mythologies of the West and the East. Her works are featured in several museum exhibitions such as Regionale 21 (Switzerland, 2020), Dreispurig, VII, Ellwanger Kunstausstellung (Germany, 2019), Regionale 19, Kunsthalle Pallazzo (Switzerland, 2018), among others. She was the artist in residency for the 2020 Scholoss Plueschow in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.

Tabula Rasa Gallery (London)
Unit One, 99 East Road,
Hoxton, London
N1 6AQ
Tuesday - Saturday 12:00 - 18:00 | Sunday - Monday Closed

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Tabula Rasa Gallery  (London)