Frantic emotions swirl through Changyu Zou’s poetry-inspired illustrations – Colossal

by The Insights


#Changyu Zou #mixed media #poetry

“Starry Bird 7.” All images © Changyu Zou, shared with permission

Infused with magic and metaphor, Chinese Savannah artist Changyu Zou’s energetic illustrations are emotionally candid and reflect her reactions to the verse. “I think poetry uses the most beautiful words to express what is most real in the poet’s heart. Although these words are sometimes very abstract and difficult to understand, they can give me unlimited imagination,” she says, sharing that she tends to extract a few terms or phrases from a poem and then use them as the basis for his drawings.

Zou seeks an interaction between the original text and its visual language, which often relies on a feverish mishmash of figures and symbols. The mixed-media illustrations — she works with digital and analog materials, including gouache, acrylic, crayons, crayons, and sometimes pasted-on detail — draw directly from the Misty Poets, a tradition that emerged in defiance of the restrictive cultural revolution of 20th century China and is characterized by its obscure blur. This mysterious, indeterminate quality appears in Zou’s works when birds, human hands, cars, houses, and other objects appear to whirl in chaotic motion.

In addition to the Misty Poets, the illustrator mentions Kahlil Gibran, Haizi and Rabindranath Tagore as influences. A line from Tagore’s “Starry Bird” reads “kindle in my heart the evening star of rest, then let the night whisper love to me” and inspired Zou’s series of the same name. “Because Tagore’s poetry expresses the harmony of life and nature, I chose elements for these to represent humans, such as cars and houses, and also elements that symbolize nature, like birds,” she shares. “They are together on a planetary ring, expressing a state of harmony and love.”

Zou is gearing up for a solo show this fall, so keep an eye on her Instagram for updates on this show and other projects. (via CreativeBoom)

A figure is surrounded by a chaotic group of birds, cars, houses and other symbols

“Starry Bird 1”

A figure is surrounded by a chaotic group of birds, cars, houses and other symbols and extends its arms towards a star

“Planning Advisor 1”

A figure on a raft looks down into the ocean with a chaotic group of symbols and birds

“The World Remade”

A chaotic cluster of birds, cars, houses, and other symbols appear at the bottom of the illustration with a large bird to the right

“Starry Bird 6”

A figure is surrounded by a chaotic group of birds, cars, houses and other symbols

“Starry Bird 4”

A character drives a car towards a headlight with a chaotic cluster of symbols

“Planning Advisor 2”

#Changyu Zou #mixed media #poetry

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