Milan Project (2020)

"Out of the Blue, A Calligraphy Journey through Alcantara", is  an exhibition promoted and produced by the Municipality of Milan-Culture Department, the Royal Palace of Milan and Alcantara S.p.A, created especially for the apartment of the Princes, open to the public from Sept 9 to Oct 11, 2020.


This exhibition is curated by Dagmar Carnevale Lavezzoli and Katie Hill.  In " Out of the Blue" six renowned Chinese artists  combine ancient Chinese ink medium with contemporary Alcantara materiel to create site specific room installations that transform the historical venue into a magical space. The goal is to promote Alcantara’s ongoing interest in the most advanced forms of contemporary creativity and collaborate with the established and the emerging artists on the creation of original works. This exhibition is fully funded by Alcantara Company including site visit, round-trip shipment of material, artwork making process, final installation, publicity, reception and acquisition of all artists work.

I am the only female among the six invited Chinese artists. My mesmerizing work stood out among the six. I spent nine months making eight large ink paintings on Alcantara fabric in my Kansas studio. Each piece is 5ft W x 30ft H. The final installation was put together by Milan team on site. There are four pairs and each one is double-sided. The front side is waterfall and the back side is a semi-cursive style of Chinese calligraphy based on a famous Tang Dynasty poem. The content of the poem is related to the front image and the movement of the brush strokes looks like the flowing hair strands. The installation is hung in the center of the room from ceiling to floor. There are opening areas for viewers to access my work easily. They can walk in and out from four different angles. The inspiration came from my first site visit. To me, the room had very intimate and personal feeling. The natural light from the two big vertical windows reminded me of the waterfall cascading from ceiling to floor, just like the flowing imagery of my long hair. I skillfully blend human and natural elements, using the motif of flowing hair, finely drawn in thin and silken strands following the Gongbi style to express the concept of life-force through a sculptural work in which nature, body and calligraphy merge.


© Copyright Hong Chun Zhang. All rights reserved.


5ft W x 30ft H, white ink on black Alcantara fabric