Zhen Guo “Muted Landscape”

Gallery 456 in Chinese-American Arts Council

poster for Zhen Guo “Muted Landscape”

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Gallery 456 presents Muted Landscape, a solo exhibition by Zhen Guo, curated by Kimberly Reinagel. Muted Landscape is comprised of artworks by Guo that redefine traditional Chinese Landscape Ink Paintings as a rich, abstract visual language drawing on themes of identity, feminism, and environmentalism. She breaks through with new techniques, while upholding centuries-long traditions. 

The works presented in Muted Landscape are a unique representation of the natural world, at once monumental and intimate. These communicate the vastness of mountain ranges, deep valleys and wide fields along with the undulating folds of the human body. Each work is fully formed only by the participation of the viewer, and subtly enfolds references to female figure, and the history of identity, oppression, and violence at the core of every human woman.

In recent years, my feminist art has turned to the concept of “mother” and its connection to women, men, and the world in general. There may be no daughters, sisters, or wives in our lives, but everyone has a mother, and “mother earth” is the giver and sustainer of all life. Mother and Earth are inextricably linked in tradition, philosophy, science, and our minds, just as they are in my art. Mother Earth and Human Mother (and all women) are surrounded by the destructive forces of our time.

“Muted Landscape” presents a vision of our planet that is both expansive and terrifying, a landscape as if viewed from miles high, defaced and stained by the gray color and the sheer height. Towering peaks merge with rivers, lakes, craters, and sheer walls, figurative but more abstract, losing their individual character and value. In reality, driven by population and industrial growth, unrestrained exploitation and pollution, our planet is riddled with holes and out of balance, disappearing in front of us without making a sound. Our Earth, the mother of all of us, silent as the pieces are dismembered and burned. So too, the mothers and women of this world, their bodies, their rights and their spirits, are constantly under attack. They are also told to “shut up” and their voices were muted so they can’t be heard.

Zhen Guo was born in Shandong Province, China, and experienced the “Cultural Revolution” during her teen years. She graduated from the Chinese Painting Department of the China Academy of Art in 1982 and was hired there to teach in its Chinese Art Department. Zhen Guo is one of the earliest explorers of ink art after the reform and opening up of China. She immigrated to the United States in 1986 and established Zhen Guo Art Studio in New York City in 1988. Guo has participated in many international art exhibitions and has long been committed to the research and exploration of contemporary feminist art. Major auction houses such as Sotheby’s have repeatedly promoted her works. In recent years, Guo has curated and participated in: “Existence: International Women’s Art Exhibition” in Changsha, China; “Please Touch, Body Boundaries,” a large-scale exhibition at Mana Contemporary Art in the United States; “Asian Women Artists Exhibition” at Jeonbuk Provincial Museum of Art, South Korea, and many more abroad and in the United States.

Zhen Guo now lives and works in New York City.



from January 28, 2022 to February 18, 2022

Opening Reception on 2022-01-28 from 17:00 to 19:00


Zhen Guo

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