Guest Lecture: Buddhism, Visual Arts, and Healing

Speakers: Wu Chao, and Zhang Yanzi (independent artists)

When: April 26, 2019

Where: Harvard University

Two China-based contemporary artists, Wu Chao and Zhang Yanzi, participated in an international video conference on April 26th, 2019. Zhang’s work, deeply rooted in the Chinese visual tradition, is inspired by the Diamond Sutra and explores the relationships between art and healing. Using hand-painted animation, video, installation, field trips and interdisciplinary cooperation, Wu’s work explores the connection and tension between our spirit and daily moments.

About the Speakers:

Wu Chao was born in 1977 in Sichuan, China. She graduated from the master’s program of the National School of Art and Design of Nancy, France. Now, she lives and works in Guangzhou, China. Her Vegetative Being Art Awakening Project, a project aimed at the study of life ontology, tries to awake vegetative beings through her artworks with the cooperation of neurology, psychology, Buddhist principles, and more disciplines. Wu has also made great achievements in the experimental animation domain. She uses visual and audio language to build a theatre that is functional for all audiences, as she aims to provide an immersive experience. Since 2018, Wu initiated the project Unity of the Study of Vitality. She started to advance the interdisciplinary collaboration to ease the pain and burden of diseases and explore the unity of civilization. Important group exhibitions in which she has participated include Now: A Dialogue on Female Chinese Contemporary Artists (2018), Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester, UK; Turning Point: Contemporary Art in China Since 2000 (2016), Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China; and Neo-Perception: China’s New Generation of Women Artists (2015), Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai, China. Her awards include the Grand Jury Prize from the Huayu Youth Awards (2014); the Best Experimental Film Award from the 10th Beijing Independent Film Festival (2013); a multimedia award from the Chinese Independent Animation Forum (2013),and a special nomination prize from the Czech Animation Festival (2012). Wu has held the posts of the final judge of the Annecy International Animation Festival (2017) and the final judge of the Netherlands International Animation Festival (2015).

Zhang Yanzi was born in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province. Zhang received her Master of Fine Arts in Chinese Painting at China Central Academy of Fine Arts and Beijing Normal University. She is currently based in Beijing and she serves as the Editor-in-chief of CAFA ART INFO at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. Zhang has held numerous solo and group exhibitions, including The Remedy: Art Basel Hong Kong (2015), The Remedy: Solo Show of Zhang Yanzi at PAN Palazzo delle Arti di Napoli, Italy (2014), Specials-Female Artists Salon at Manet Art Collection, Beijing (2014) and Devotion to Ink organised by Galerie Ora-Ora at Hong Kong Maritime Museum (2014).