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Ziyue Tang was born in Ningbo, China. His mother worked as a piano teacher at Ningbo Cultural center, and his father was a journalist at the local newspaper office. He began to learn to play piano with his mother at the age of three, and the experience of learning music influenced his artistic development.


Tang was obsessed with painting as a child. In junior high school, he decided to become a visual artist rather than a musician. In 2016,Tang applied to study painting at the Affiliated High School of ChinaAcademy of Arts. At school, he systematically studied the tradition of realist painting.


Since leaving art high school, Tang prepared to study abroad and was admitted to Savannah College of Art and Design. In Savannah, Tang was inspired by “Bad Painting” and “Provisional Painting” and tried to develop his art strategy. Tang blends his painting skills with his twenty years of music experience, creating a perfect marriage between his two passions.Tang’s evolution into collage-like painting allows him to combine different styles and spaces. His understanding of music inspired him to build a unique art language. Syncretism and anxiety are prominent features in Tang’s work during this period.

Ziyue Tang in his Savannah Studio, May 7, 2022


“You can’t find anything new in painting today. Painting is an ancient form. Painting has nothing to explore.” Chinese artist Ai Weiwei said in an interview. I believe Marcel Duchamp would agree with Ai Weiwei’s opinion if Duchamp is still alive. Nowadays, we have countless ways to create art, and new forms such as digital art and NFT art, are constantly emerging. In this situation, I ask myself: Why do I continue painting? What are the unique advantages of painting? And most importantly, what do I want? During college, I studied Provisional Painting and Bad Painting and tried to develop the personal painting strategy from these two genres. On the other hand, Classical Music and Motion Graphic Design have profoundly influenced me. 


German artist Sigma Polke’s work gives me a deep impression. He tried to integrate different styles and art genres to find new possibilities in his practice. Inspired by his work, I use the collage-like technique to reflect today's cultural conflicts and integration. With the development of the information age, we can get the news and information worldwide everywhere and every time. However, at the same time, the authenticity of the data was questioned. Like Gustave Flaubert said: There is no truth, only who you choose to believe. Therefore, the news, the mass media images, memes from the internet, pop culture, and Chinese proverbs can become sources of inspiration. Usually, I draw a few sketches, transfer them to the canvas, then combine figurative imagery and abstraction in several tries and adjustments to create unfamiliar, ironic, and sometimes humorous images. 


The study of classical music in my childhood undoubtedly profoundly impacted my painting concept. I often examine my works in the way of dealing with music. Hans Hofmann’s “Push-Pull” principle is like the rhythm of music; If the music loses the rhythm, the music will become nothing but confusing. Harmony is tone color, which can change the basic mood. Polyphony is a musical texture consisting of two or more simultaneous independent melody lines and remains harmonious. To me, it's like different themes appear in the same picture. But, on the other hand, music and visual art have extra. Music, especially traditional music, is as rigorous as mathematics; for me, painting is the art of intuition. My painting work is more perceptual than classical music; it is probably more like bebop music, with a more changeable beat and unexpected contingency.


In addition, I also minor in motion graphics to broaden my horizons. For example, in Montage theory, a series of connected or unconnected images allows for complex ideas to be extracted from a sequence to create new metaphors and meanings. Undoubtedly, I tried to use this technique in my painting. 


In my opinion, painting is like the idea of alchemy, which helps me find new things from the impossible; painting is like a glue that attempted to fragment the post-modernist culture to piece together again; In other words, painting should be seen as an endless game.

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