Ziqian’s work is self-portraiture, where she combines her body with plants and mirrors, constantly exploring the balanced state of peaceful coexistence between humans and nature. Her works rarely show her face creating an anonymous body to the viewer. Ziqian is currently based in Shanghai, we caught up with her to find out more about her works.
What began your journey as a photographer?
To be honest, I wouldn’t say I’m a professional photographer. I was very anxious after I graduated, so I went on a trip with my friends. Whilst travelling, I bought my first camera and I found photography to be an easy outlet. I became more and more intrigued by photography. Since I’m quite introverted and like to be alone on weekdays, it is easy and interesting to record and create artworks, which can be done independently. At the same time, photography calms my mind, which is one of the reasons why it attracts me.
It’s often said that a woman creates her own world within art – would you agree with this? How does your work fit into this context?
In the process of creation, the thought is free, everyone can throw the bondage of reality in his world.
In my work, the image in the mirror presents my world. In my heart, what I desire most is symmetry and perfect order, no matter the appearance of things or the communication between people. However, this is too idealistic after all, society is unbalanced, and some imperfection will set off its real existence. In my works, the images in the mirror represent the idealised world I hope for. The integration with the outside just reminds me to respect and recognise the imbalance in the real world, but also to adhere to my own inner order and principles.
What version of the self does your work best portray? (e.g. who we see ourselves to be, who others see us as, and the person we truly are)
There are two selves in my work, one is my truest self when I am alone. This ego will be a bit “Selfish”, just want to leave all the time and energy to my own, and do not care about the views of others, to fully comply with my own wishes.
“In everyday life, the environment can make people anxious and become a slave to emotions.”
The other is a better version of who I want to be. In everyday life, the environment can make people anxious and become a slave to emotions. In my work, I am calm and quiet, which is the ideal state for me.