Zhijun He: The powerful impression I aim to create for my artwork is through the striking impact of colors.
Jersey city, New Jersey, United States, 26th May 2023, King NewsWire – Vibrant red is the first impression viewers get when they see Zhijun He’s works. In her series “Blade in Crimson” the intense interplay between red and other low-saturated colors creates a visually striking effect. This series aims to explore the hardships faced by Chinese women in a patriarchal society. The color red runs through all four pieces in the series, symbolizing both the existence of the problems and the sword aimed at women.
Zhijun He is a graphic designer specializing in illustration. She has had a strong interest in drawing since childhood and has desired to express her ideas and emotions through art. She initially enrolled in one of China’s top art schools, the Central Academy of Fine Arts. In pursuit of her artistic dreams, she went to the United States and was accepted into the top-ranked School of Visual Arts in New York, majoring in illustration. Her diverse education and international experiences have added extra advantages to her designs. After working for a period of time at the Chinese branch of Japan’s largest advertising agency, she realized that combining graphic design with illustration could better convey her creativity and help viewers better understand her ideas. Adding artistic elements to graphic posters makes the designs more vivid and expressive.
The series “Crimson Blade” includes the award-winning illustration “Come into Bloom,” which has received recognition from international illustration competitions such as Communication Arts and AI-AP. The other works in the series are “Illusion,” “Ladies Fade Away,” “The Only Thing She Wears,” and “It’s Time.” In these works, the color red may symbolize emotions and experiences related to women’s struggles, such as pain, violence, and difficulties. The artworks address issues like menstrual shame, male gaze, workplace inequality, body image anxiety, and arranged marriages. The portrayal of female figures in the artworks represents both classic depictions and a counterattack against traditional gender roles. Zhijun encourages women to courageously pursue their own happiness and diverse development, without succumbing to external pressures. Only when women have their own power and agency can they truly break free from adversity and maximize their self-worth.
“Come into Bloom” metaphorically expresses the natural beauty of women’s menstrual experiences by comparing them to blossoming flowers. It also explores the shame women feel about menstruation and the societal unfair treatment they receive. This artwork advocates for normalizing menstruation and respecting women, aiming to break the stigma and shame surrounding menstruation, allowing women to confidently face and discuss their menstrual experiences. In this piece, the menstrual blood is depicted as red flowers blooming from the uterus, symbolizing the arrival of the flowering season. During the creative process, Zhijun contemplated the reasons for women’s struggles in East Asian environments and expressed these issues through digital media. Metaphors were considered to represent menstruation in the artwork. Striking a balance between aesthetics and impact was a challenging task. The abundance of red flowers under the skirt evokes a sense of vitality and fluidity while also connecting with the theme.
As an artist, Zhijun’s creative process is rooted in self-exploration and a deep understanding of the surrounding environment. She aims to express her inner emotions and thoughts through design, conveying her perspectives and experiences to viewers and receiving feedback from them. For Zhijun, art creation is not merely a matter of accumulating technical skills; it is a concrete manifestation of self-reflection and self-exploration. Artists need to use their sensitive senses and thinking abilities to perceive, interpret, and analyze the environment and culture around them, thereby embodying the emotions and content they wish to express in their artwork.
In addition to her individual creative work, Zhijun actively participates in art events in New York, where she engages in discussions and exchanges ideas with artists from different countries. Through these explorations and interactions, she continuously discovers new elements and forms, shaping her unique and compelling design style.
As an artist who values the use of artistic language to convey thoughts and emotions, Zhijun aspires to delve deeper into the complexity of human relationships and contemporary societal issues through her creations. She aims to express her understanding and attitude towards the era and culture through her artwork, allowing more viewers to connect with the emotions and reflections within her pieces. Furthermore, she also seeks to explore different artistic mediums and forms of expression, constantly expanding her creative domain. Zhijun is eager to challenge herself, experiment with new art forms and techniques, and create a diverse and enriching body of work.
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