Michael Zheng



One of the youngest artists selected to be in the 2009-2011 Vancouver Biennale, Michael Zheng comes from a background in computer science. Having studied at Tsinghua University in China, he worked as a computer software designer for ten years, and only later did he make the transition to study art at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Zheng was an artist in residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine in 2003 and the prestigious MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire in 2005. In 2005 and 2007, he was nominated for the SECA Award from the San Francisco MOMA.

In 2006, Zheng’s intervention project with the Baltic Triennial was selected as No. 2 of the best art shows by Pravda magazine in Lithuania. He was acknowledged by the Artadia award in 2007 and nominated for the Bay Area Now 5 of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 2008.

His work has been reviewed in numerous magazines worldwide including Sculpture Magazine, SF Weekly and the San Francisco Chronicle.


Artist Statement

My main interest is to cultivate awareness in the viewer of their own perceptual process.

I search for moments of transcendence inherent in daily life, exploring the world through a holistic and interconnected perspective.

My process is rooted in my Buddhist and Taoist upbringing in China. I normally start by noticing unassuming things in life, and seeing their poetics and essential qualities. I accentuate, amplify, or contextualize certain aspects of a subject so that new perspectives arise. I use humor and sincerity as an integral part of my work, always searching for the larger intelligence of the universe.

I create performances, interventions, sculptural and two-dimensional objects using mediums ranging from the human body, to books, walls, drawing or photography. My work is conceptual in nature.


Education Program Material

About Artist and Artwork (PDF)


Photo Credit

Dan Fairchild Photography

External Links