Persona November, 2nd 2023 by

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 439 - Zhanhong Liao Revisited

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World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 439 – Zhanhong Liao Revisited

On the occasion of her 25th anniversary, Museum Vlaardingen is presenting a solo exhibition by the Vlaardingen artist Zhanhong Liao this winter. The theme of the exhibition is LOVE, love for your fellow man, love for your loved ones, love for nature and love for yourself.

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Zhanhong Liao was born and raised in Guangzhou (China), and graduated in Fine Art from the City College of Manchester, U.K. She came to Vlaardingen for love and she has lived in Vlaardingen since 1996. She has been a member of the Dutch artists’ association Pulchri Studio since 1999. She exhibited for almost ten years in Josine Bokhoven’s gallery in Amsterdam. Closer to home, she is active at the Kunstwerkt Foundation as an artist and as a member of the balloting and exhibition working group.

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Multidisciplinary artist

Zhanhong is a multidisciplinary artist and curator. In 1998 she had her first solo exhibition at Galerie Prevelle. Her art has been developed over 25 years at the same time as her personal growth. From a small diary/book art, photography, abstract and realistic paintings, to portraits and performances. She believes it is important to bring her art into contact with ‘ordinary people’. That is why she is also committed to social art projects. In addition to her artistry, she works at the Museum Vlaardingen as a floor manager and as an art teacher at KADE40 and at Senior Welfare.

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Two sons

Zhanhong has two sons who are now young adults. Unfortunately, her marriage failed, but through difficult years she has further developed her love for fellow human beings, herself and nature.

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During her studies and afterwards she traveled a lot. For her artistry, she goes to at least one foreign art symposium every year, to broaden her horizons and gain reflection. In her work she seeks connections between diverse cultures and populations.

Zhanhong thinks it is normal to work harder as an immigrant. She considers integration and continuing to develop as a people artist to be important factors for her happiness. She feels at home in the Netherlands while she does not forget her Chinese roots. We can regularly see Chinese elements in her work.

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The exhibition

In this exhibition, Zhanhong wants to show her oeuvre from the last 26 years with Love as a common thread. We can see her ‘Diary’, paintings of people and nature, conceptual computer work, 3D masks and a large installation with thousands of calligraphed LOVE.

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Love is not a cliché, says Zhanhong. “It is necessary, especially in current times. See all the wars, refugees, inequality, rebels, climate, etc. As an artist, I want to make people aware through my art and let them love each other. An individual, independent and autonomous desire does not stand in the way of solidarity, social involvement and togetherness. I have been through a lot myself and had many setbacks. But the development of love is the foundation of happiness. I believe that with compassion and love we can connect. I will repeat it thousands of times / endlessly as if it were a form of medication.”

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Loving as a person is very different in the West than in the East, she continues. “An I culture versus the WE culture. I have experienced and learned a lot over the years. I can now safely say that I have found more balance and am more myself. I believe that we can deliver more and help others better if we ourselves are satisfied in our lives.”

“I feel an enrichment between the cultures of East and West in my life and in my art. How does my Chinese background influence my art consciously and unconsciously? The older I get the more curious I become as the person I am today. Art is always personal, that certainly applies to me. The world is getting smaller due to new technology. Diversity and inclusivity are important, along with compassion and respect. I think love is the key word. Love for fellow man, love for yourself and love for nature… “Make Love, no War” by John Lennon is so inspiring for our time.”

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Peripheral Programming and Education

The Opening coincides with Zhanhong’s birthday. There will be music from the band ‘The Elastic Stockings’. During the exhibition, Zhanhong wants to offer the public the opportunity to practice Chinese calligraphy ‘Love’ together with her. In her experience, calligraphy is a way of making art in a relaxed way, with control, meditation and compassion.

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There is a workshop together with KADE 40 (art teacher); together with RUMI there is the possibility to do calligraphy; together with the Dansmavo, there will be Chinese fan dancing on February 9; on Chinese New Year February 10 there will also be an event; there will also be a Qi Gong workshop with Dansmavo Schiedam-Vlaardingen. The finissage is on Sunday, February 11. Various activities will take place with the theme of Love. 

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