Interviews | July 3, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of Xinyu Zheng

Interview: Xinyu Zheng
Luca Curci talks with Xinyu Zheng during MIXING IDENTITIES 2023, at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space.

“Xinyu is a New York-based multidisciplinary artist who frequently draws inspiration from found objects, transforming the world into a type of pictorial memory. She explores the interaction between objects and the human body as a fashion designer. Her work typically entails uncovering items in her environment and expressing them in a primitive and childlike manner.”

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Image courtesy of Xinyu Zheng

Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Xinyu Zheng – At the moment, my main focus revolves around building my brand and developing this year’s collection. While I haven’t set a definitive direction or plan just yet, my intention is to delve into new realms of creativity and experimentation. A significant source of inspiration for my collection stems from old photographs capturing the essence of my grandmother’s room.

LC – What issues do you intend to deal with in the future?
XZ – In my future endeavours, my main challenge will revolve around thinking outside the box. The process of translating concepts into art varies greatly between fashion design and other forms of art. Finding the right balance between the two worlds while still preserving my creativity will be my greatest obstacle.

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Image courtesy of Xinyu Zheng

LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
XZ – I am a graduate of Parsons, where I majored in Fashion Design, but I see myself as more than just a fashion designer; I consider myself a multidisciplinary artist. Found Objects serve as a constant wellspring of inspiration for my creations. Playfulness and curiosity are at the core of who I am, and these qualities find expression through my art and design. My artistic endeavours are deeply influenced by my profound love for nature and life. Memories hold a special place in my heart, and I have a knack for transforming them into captivating images that convey emotions and stories. The experiences and experiments I undertake serve as the lifeblood of my creativity, consistently leading me to fresh and thrilling inspirations. In my perspective, everything I encounter holds a certain magic and surprise, whether it’s the act of cooking, engaging in various sports, or trying out different crafts. Each of these experiences contributes to the rich tapestry of my work, adding depth and authenticity to my artistic expression.

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Image courtesy of Xinyu Zheng

LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
XZ – When I embark on the journey of designing an entire collection, my utmost focus lies in maintaining the integrity of the whole artistic piece. It’s not merely about crafting clothes; rather, I consider it as an opportunity to create a complete work of art. I take immense pleasure in constructing a unique and immersive world within each collection. The one I am currently presenting is named “Object Creature.” To bring this imaginative world to life, I employ various mediums such as photos, garments, paintings, filming, videos, and books. These elements come together harmoniously to weave a compelling narrative that I wish to share with the audience. However, I must admit that this creative process demands a considerable amount of time and effort. The preparation and execution phases can be quite extensive, but I believe that the end result justifies the dedication put into it. The joy of witnessing the complete collection, with its captivating story and artistic vision, makes every moment of hard work worthwhile.

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Image courtesy of Xinyu Zheng

LC – What do you think about art on social media? Are they turning into the new showcases of contemporary art?
XZ – Undoubtedly, social media has become an immense platform for artists to reach a wider audience. It serves as a cost-efficient and accessible showcase that appeals to the general public. However, its effectiveness varies depending on the genre of art. For photographers, it offers unparalleled convenience and opens doors to potential opportunities. On the contrary, for genres like paintings or sculptures, social media’s limitations become apparent, as it cannot fully convey the three-dimensional or four-dimensional experience of these artworks. Despite these limitations, I firmly believe that social media remains an excellent platform for promoting art, especially for artists who are yet to achieve widespread recognition. Its far-reaching impact can significantly aid those seeking success in the art world. By leveraging social media strategically, artists can gain visibility, engage with a diverse audience, and foster connections that may lead to further opportunities.

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Image courtesy of Xinyu Zheng

LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this event? How is it connected to the theme of the entire exhibition?
XZ – The artwork “Object Creature” showcased in this event carries a profound message that revolves around exploring the metamorphosis of identities and the interconnectedness between human beings and their surroundings. The artist’s inspiration stems from the windows of New York streets, envisioning the untold stories concealed behind each window’s view. By personifying the characters within those windows as “Object Creatures,” a fascinating collection of clothing comes to life, inspired by items typically found near windows, such as vases, lampshades, curtains, and flower bouquets. This artwork seamlessly aligns with the exhibition’s theme, “Mixing Identities,” as it delves into the realm of reconstructing new identities and the transformative essence of the human body. The designs ingeniously merge elements of fashion and interior design, presenting a harmonious fusion that speaks to the concept of transforming identities. Incorporating visual elements seen through the windows into the clothing details, the artist adeptly blends various fabrics to bridge the realms of fashion and interior decoration. The resulting designs boast a unique and captivating fashion style, brilliantly reflecting the artist’s anthropomorphic imagination of inanimate objects.

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Image courtesy of Xinyu Zheng

LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
XZ – As an artist, the concept behind the exhibition “MIXING IDENTITIES” truly captivates and stimulates my thoughts. Its intriguing premise of reconstructing new identities in the face of our ever-evolving contemporary world holds immense fascination. I am drawn to the exhibition’s emphasis on the human body as a conduit that interconnects us with others and the dynamic reality that surrounds us. This concept deeply aligns with my own artistic vision and perspective.

LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
XZ – Indeed, the ITSLIQUID GROUP presents a promising opportunity for artists worldwide. As an esteemed international art organization, it facilitates a wide range of exhibitions, events, and collaborations that foster interactions between artists, architects, and designers. Through their initiatives, ITSLIQUID GROUP offers artists an excellent platform to exhibit their work and reach out to a diverse and extensive global audience. This exposure can lead to valuable networking opportunities and heightened visibility within the art community.

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Image courtesy of Xinyu Zheng

LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
XZ – ITSLIQUID is a fantastic platform that offers artists a remarkable opportunity to showcase their work both offline and online. This dual approach provides an excellent avenue for artists to establish themselves and gain recognition in the art world. The accessibility of this platform proves especially advantageous for artists who may not have the chance to exhibit in traditional physical galleries or reach a large audience. Thanks to ITSLIQUID’s inclusive approach, more artists can now share their creativity with a global audience, contributing to the diversity and richness of the art community.

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Image courtesy of Xinyu Zheng
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Image courtesy of Xinyu Zheng
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Image courtesy of Xinyu Zheng

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