Unseen Window
June 14 - June 28, 2024
Gallery 456
Exhibition Statement

For over twenty years, Zhang Zheyi's art has consistently grown within the context of his self-identity. Beyond the main trajectory, he meticulously trims the offshoots, creating interconnected and mutually nourishing works that span oil paintings, printed-over-paintings, oil pastel on paper, sculptures, and large public art installations. Zhang Zheyi's creations constantly intertwine with logical clues, often extending into unfamiliar artistic domains, which keeps his interest in his own art alive and sparks a more vigorous creativity and diverse forms of artistic expression, especially when placed in new environments.

After settling in New York in 2022, the subway took Zhang Zheyi to various corners of the city. The vast information from the city ignited his inspiration, yet an Unseen Window always seemed to separate him from the city. When Zhang Zheyi opens it, he intimately interacts with the world outside; when he closes it, he retains an insightful and detached observation, intending to capture the world outside the window. One day, by chance, he took out a Metrocard from his pocket and began painting on it. This simple and straightforward way of creating was a form of relaxation and simplification for him. While creating these works, he didn't ponder much over conceptual issues but was simply satisfied with meeting his own aesthetic needs and expressing the freshness of New York's daily life. Time flew by, and Zhang Zheyi completed nearly a hundred works on Metrocards, leaving behind a series of visual diaries. This small card, which has accompanied New Yorkers for thirty years, has now become part of his artistic language.

Compared to other countries where Zhang Zheyi has lived, the postal system in the United States is more deeply integrated into people's lives, and checking the mailbox has become part of his daily routine. Consequently, mailed advertisements became his new creative materials. Zhang Zheyi painted his visual diaries on these advertising mails printed with his name and address, using the transparent film on the envelopes to create a viewing space with a window. With this mental Unseen Window, he can place himself in an ideal vacuum, coexisting harmoniously with his observation objects without interfering with each other, striving to keep his works both rational and emotionally rich. Gradually, some of these daily sketches became new sources of inspiration for Zhang Zheyi's creations. After deepening and developing, they transformed into brand new works, a surprising outcome he might not have anticipated. This exhibition will showcase some of Zhang Zheyi's new oil paintings, displayed alongside a portion of the small earlier works that inspired them, creating an intriguing reflection of their origins. Of course, some large-scale works cannot be exhibited in this gallery due to space constraints, such as the public art installation "A Vision of the World", completed in Long Island in 2023 with his artistic partner, and some outdoor installations and framed works created in China in recent years. Some exhibitions can capture the full context and style of an artist, while others offer a glimpse of only a part. There is a third type of exhibition that manages to do both—summarizing the overall style while meticulously presenting details. Zhang Zheyi's creative system sometimes revolves around different exhibition themes. According to his plan, this exhibition belongs to the third category.

[World Journal /世界日報] 「看不見的懸窗」張哲溢個展聚焦地鐵
[Sing Tao Daily/星島日報] 張哲溢「看不見的懸窗」個展 6/14至28日456畫廊展出
[US China Press/僑報] 華人藝術家看不見的懸窗14日開展