I spend a lot of time looking at outer space—movies, images, looking through telescopes. I paint representations of outer space and the vastness of the universe which symbolize the anxiety of the unknown. My paintings express my feelings of disorientation and encourage the viewer to question where they are, and question the sense the planet is both infinite in a way we cannot grasp but also finite and a collectively held resource. We seem to live in a solid, immovable environment, but in fact the whole universe is in constant motion. We want to constrain our world so we are not overwhelmed.


Painting reflects humanity through its imperfection. I print out photos of the universe and stick them on my studio wall. Those images make me think about how photographs relate to my painting and how I experience vast outer space. I cannot directly experience outer space right now. The only way I can experience it is to observe through photographic technology. I paint technologically produced images to emphasize those imperfections and the humanity within the context of our technological society.

--- Zhang Ruxue