Artist Spotlight

The Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts


Painting          Sculpture          Drawing           Photography           Graphics
Christopher Z.Y. Zhang

After Practice, oil, 48 x 60

Danther of the Himalaya, oil, 50 x 40


Artist Statement

I was born in Shanghai, China and graduated from the East China Normal University with a BFA degree. I came to the United States in 1990 to further my studies. I attended a master degree program in fine art at Rhode Island College and was graduated as a MFA.
I love art and have been dedicated to it since my childhood. My dream is becoming a professional artist who can bridge Western and Oriental cultures. Therefore I have been pursuing a perfect artistic combination of the ancient Chinese culture and the Western realistic painting techniques to present an exclusive visual aestheticism of Western realism and magnificence as well as Chinese naturalism and lyricism in my painting.
My focus is on natural attractiveness other than dramatic expressiveness. My ballerina paintings, for instance, are mostly of those common scenes in the rehearsal room instead of focusing on the dancers on stage, in order to present natural beauty. These seemingly less dramatic yet no less important moments or objects usually give an integrated visual attractiveness that rests on natural but consistently subtle enjoyment beyond the limelight. To create such attractiveness, I emphasize a sense of comprehension instead of dramatization, for a painting very often starts with a feeling and ends up with an aesthetic expression. I think it is the sense that decides when and how the painting should be finished. The sense is subtle but is more essential than style and skill as it produces the integrity of a painting. That’s why Traditional Chinese Art Literature says that “ paint with a sense rather than brushwork” is quite beyond the technical aspect.
Generally speaking, the visual perfection results from such key factors as composition, posture, lighting, and coloring. These factors must be natural enough to make a sense rather dramatic enough to “talk philosophy.” Having studied masterpieces for many years, I finally understand that the real issue of fine arts is pursuing nature not techniques or other human conceptions since nature is the ultimate source of art. Art is created by nature and should aesthetically give even more meaning to it. Otherwise, art will be senseless and rootless, no matter how technically novel it might be based only on human civilizations. Nature is the truth of art and it is the destiny of my art.


Tow Dancers in White, oil, 36 x 36


The World of Tibetan Woman, oil, 86 x 106






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