Zhiqian Wang is an interdisciplinary artist who works with sculptures, paintings, videos, performances, and sound installations. Her current practice centers on examining and expanding our understanding of material reality through her interests in physics and philosophy. Fascinated by the limits and potential of ordinary language, she delves into the conceptual foundations of rationality and knowledge.
Wang’s paintings resemble a modernist tradition close to Ad Reinhardt, who was deeply inspired by Asian art and Buddhism. Like Reinhardt, Wang's paintings require the viewer to slow down and experience the work through direct perceptual faculties, which cannot be captured through camera lenses. Wang's installations rearrange basic elements found in everyday life to create a semblance of religious rituals, but with the invitation for the audience to intrude. Unlike modernist art, which emphasizes the purity of form, Wang sees her paintings and installations as devices infused with concepts, narratives, and meanings.
Many of Wang's works implicitly challenge the theoretical foundations of Western civilization, particularly its reliance on binary separations that have resulted in recurring violence, conflict, and imperialism. Others of her works explore forms of knowledge that have been marginalized or excluded by the scientific paradigm, which prioritizes experimentation and falsification. By navigating phenomena from living systems to human interactions, Wang draws attention to what lies both underneath and beyond the conception of "normality" and Western-oriented convention that emphasizes progression and rationality.
Zhiqian recently had solo shows: “Twins, Twilight, and Apple Tree”, “Moonlight of the Twins”, “Red or White Roses”, “Earth and Jerry”, and a two-person show “Capital Investigation”. Her works also show at The Jewish Museum (upcoming), Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (CICA) Museum, MassArt Art Museum (performance), Emerson Contemporary Gallery, Cyberarts Gallery, ACT at MIT, and Harvard Medical School among others. She was invited as a guest lecturer in the theoretical computer science department at Harvard University and has collaborated with scholars and researchers in different fields of science. She is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia University, and lives and works in New York City.