Xia Zhang

Xia Yi Zhang

Assistant Professor

Aronoff Center

DAAP School of Art - 0016

Professional Summary

Xia Zhang is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator who was born in southern China, grew up in suburban Maryland and came into adulthood in Appalachia. Much of her work has evolved based on her observations and experiences from living in white-dominated communities from coal country to wine country, and now the Mid-West. Repetition and process as a medium are the backbones to her practice that examines interiority in an imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.

Since 2012, she has exhibited in China, Thailand, and nationally. Xia was the 2016 - 2017 Alice C. Cole Visiting Artist at Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA), a 2017 - 2018 resident artist at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (Gatlinburg, TN), and was an artist in residence summers 2018 & 2019 at The Growlery (San Francisco, CA). She is presently an Assistant Professor of Fine Art at the University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH).



Masters of Fine Art: West Virginia University Morgantown, WV, 2015 (Fine Arts & Ceramics)

Research and Practice Interests

"My practice is an unlearning of assimilation. it contemplates how the physical body is seen in the public sphere of whiteness and privately within itself. These contemplatations value lived experiences through the lens of racial melancholia - an ever present state of being. I strive to understand the systems that have normalized subtle and overt hostilities that are in escapable based on the skins we inhabit. My work is an intimate performance between my body, object, and materials. I am draw to materials that posess infinite potential with set characteristics that reveal themselves the more time spent. I care for and tend fo the individual pieces that make up the whole, much like my forebears who tended to their fields of crops. Working methodolically gives me order and purpose. Yet, I wonder when we know the cycle of routine becomes a false comfort or vicious habit that no londer nurtures us and could cause harm.

Presently, I am interested in the radical opposition to productivity: rest. When did rest become a reward for overworking rather than a daily nourishment for being human and present. Looking toward the histories of my identifiable markers press me to witness and question the traumas, joys, and mundane in-between of existing, while stimultaneously dreaming of a equitable future rooted in understanding and care."