2014 Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial Hosts Chinese Woman's Solo Exhibition

April 3, 2014
Editor: Tracy Zhu
Poster of the exhibtion [Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial]

Toronto-based Chinese artist Han Zhang's solo exhibition "Paper, Ink, Poetry" which showcases her latest work at the 2014 Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial, in the United Arab Emirate of Sharjah kicked off on April 2, 2014.

Zhang is the only Canadian resident and Chinese artist featured among 9 international solo exhibitors from France, Belgium, Iran, The Netherlands, UK, US and UAE.

Her exhibition explores a variety of approaches to calligraphy and language, including two site-specific installations and works on paper.

Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial 6th Edition is a prestigious event organized and curated by the Directorate of Art at the Department of Culture and Information in the Emirate of Sharjah.

As the incubator of remarkable calligraphic talents, the Biennial celebrates calligraphy and all its branches, schools, doctrines and contemporary interpretations.

A decade after the launch of the first edition of Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial, the biennial seeks to establish itself in the international cultural scene as an incubator of remarkable calligraphic talents.

It's main objective is to maintain the arts of Arabic calligraphy, considering it one of the main aspects of human aesthetical heritage, that contribute in enriching the aesthetical taste of the viewer, spreading the civilized image of the Arab and Islamic arts, and highlighting the new international calligraphic experiences.

The theme of this year's Biennial is "Get Acquainted", a concept that represents the explosion of global communication media and the possibilities for constructive cultural exchange through the art form of calligraphy.

"My exhibition is a provocation and is designed to expose our ideas of language as the basis for acquaintance and mutual understanding", Han Zhang explains.

Experimenting with various approaches to writing, Zhang deconstructs and re-configures existing aesthetic frameworks of traditional Chinese calligraphy in order to challenge how we tend to treat language and translation as a system of effective communication.

In response to the theme, Zhang claims, "the path to 'Get Acquainted,' requires, first of all, estranging ourselves from what we already know. Overcoming the space between knowing and not knowing a language and culture makes mutual acquaintances possible, but it also makes possible the creation of stereotypes, miscommunication and alienation. Capturing the limit of language

Born and raised in China, Han Zhang who was born in 1988 left home at the age of 17 to pursue her artistic practice in North America and Europe. Having studied and worked in many different countries and cultures, she is fascinated by the subject of language, translation, meaning and cross-cultural communication.

Her artwork addresses the problematic issues in literary and poetic translation: loss of meaning, instability of understanding and subjectivity of interpretation. Zhang graduated Magna Cum Laude with High Honors in Studio Art from Mount Holyoke College in MA, USA. She is currently a PhD student in the department of Communication and Culture at York University, Toronto, Canada and the Artistic Director at The Culture of Cities Centre in Toronto. Her work has been exhibited in various cities including Amherst, New York and Toronto. Her past artworks can be found at www.han-studio.com.

The exhibition will run until July 2, 2014.

(Source: Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial)

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