The Artwork on MECCA's Christmas Packaging Is So Beautiful You'll Wanna Wallpaper Your House In It
As well as having their work displayed in the gallery, each female artists is also engaged to create MECCA's annual holiday campaign. This year, young Chinese-Australia artist Louise Zhang was chosen for her exceptional work across multidisciplinary practices including painting, sculpture and installation, that draws upon her modern identity and emotions, as well as traditional Chinese symbolism and botany.
Zhang joins an impressive line-up of artists that MECCA has collaborated with over the years including Tammy Kanat, Claudia Moodoonuthi, Atong Atem, Rebecca Baumann and Tanya Schultz.
And because at POPSUGAR Australia we're all about empowering and supporting women, we just had to chat with Louise Zhang to learn more about the inspiration behind her beautiful art, how she tied in her Chinese-Australian heritage into her work and what a collaboration like this could mean for her artistic career.
P.S I'm not even kidding when I say her art is so beautiful you'll wanna wallpaper your house in it . . .
Scroll to read the full interview and see Louise's work:
PS: Congratulations on your collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria and MECCA, what does a collaboration like this mean to you?
Louise: The collaboration with National Gallery of Victoria and MECCA has been incredibly significant for me. This opportunity has paved way for my work and person to be shared in such an inclusive way! Accessibility in art has always been something I have thought about – the art world can be quite isolating and exclusive. Through MECCA, I've had a chance to share my work and my heritage to the public in a very accessible format – I am very thankful for that.
The NGV's support and acquisition is something I strived for but never thought could really happen. It's now a dream come true! It's been such an extremely impactful opportunity especially during, as we know, a very difficult year for many. There's so much fear, so much social and cultural divide. But also, there's been a huge amount of work loss, especially for those working in the creative industry.
Having my work acquired by the NGV not only help support me but also, it's created an opening for my work to become part of a collection that may not have been accessible to someone like me. I am incredible grateful and am, very, very privileged to have this opportunity with NGV and MECCA.
PS: Your art for MECCA's 'Beauty on the Bright Side' holiday campaign is beyond beautiful, what was the inspiration behind it?
Louise: My work is inspired by frictions and repairing those frictions. Trying to make sense of the world around me. I was born and raised in Sydney and being the first second-generation Chinese-Australian in the family, it naturally brought experiences of fear, anxiety and otherness. So, by working through those things in a way of researching and trying to understand my heritage, using Chinese mythology, botany, symbols and motifs, I try to evoke those narratives in an abstract but palatable way.
PS: As a proud Chinese-Australian, you weaved your culture into your work, can you tell us a bit about that?
Louise: Visuals are inherent in Chinese storytelling and communication. I find using architecture, landscape, symbols and motifs are a way I can explore deeper narratives that can mean something personal without dictating meaning. There's also a complexity to them, something as simple as a flower or fruit is loaded with folklore, representation, even medicinal properties.
I'm continuously exploring and understanding my cultural and religious background. Through weaving those elements into my work, I'm hoping to gain a better understanding and more so perhaps, a better relationship with it.
PS: You've got two paintings and a sculpture being shown in the NGV, how does that feel? What does an achievement like that do for your career?
Louise: IT FEELS AMAZING! I can't foreshadow what will happen with my career, its naturally such a turbulent career but I can for sure say, I feel proud that an artist like myself can be shown at the NGV. That, for me, is a huge accomplishment in itself and for my family. Thank you NGV!
PS: The colours are so vibrant and kaleidoscopic, what made you opt for this colour palette?
Louise:Colour to me is an extremely powerful tool. It can dictate how one reacts to a work, how one feels, and responds. I think I gravitate towards those colours because they have the ability to allure, to shape the overall narrative of the work. It is as meaningful as the motifs, the paintbrushes, all the things that go into a work. When making work that tends to come from a dark or complicated place, colour is one of the ways I can contrast from that.
Scroll to Louise's work.