Ying Zhu @ Parallax

May 18, 2011

My apologies to everyone for being so far behind in my posts. I was swept up in end of the semester paper reading and grading, not to mention working on the installation of Ying’s show! But summer is finally here, and I intend to update everyone on what’s been going on at Parallax for the past month and a half.

The current show is Viva Dan by Ying Zhu, which will be up through August. Ying’s husband, Miao Liu, took absolutely stunning photos of the show, which he has graciously made available for viewing. You can also check out L. Kent Wolgamott’s article in The Journal Star on Ying’s show.

Approximately 6500 4 x4” hand-sewn paper towel pillows, made specifically for this exhibition, cover the gallery walls, transforming the space into a room both comfortingly domestic and eerily institutional. In the center of the room is an eggshell rug, comprised of hundreds of shards of broken eggshells in varying tones of brown, ecru, and white. The title Viva Dan demonstrates the multi-faceted nature of language, as well as the often surprising moments of shared phonetics between different languages. Viva refers to the brand of paper towels used to make the pillows, while also serving as a point of exclamation in Spanish: Long live! Dan is the phonetic sound of ‘egg’ in Chinese, as well as a masculine name in English, creating a play between gender identifications.

Ying Zhu was born and raised in China. She received a MFA from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2010. She will be an Artist-in-Residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, in September 2011. She is currently studying building codes extensively in order to finish the renovation of her studio space in Omaha.