Wenjun Zhang

Things I Have Left Behind

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An old photo of my grandparent's bedroom.

I want to create art that connects with people's memory in the deep heart, recalling memories through emotions and then turning them into a sense of reality and imagination.

My work is to explore the overseas Chinese and their memories of events and things. Such as items representing different times, meaningful objects from the past and remembrance. As the thing theory says, "A thing is an idea, and it gives a feeling, objects in the external world that delight me. It is a material in the world and is real (Brown 2001, 2)" 1. Because of my personal experience, even though I only partially grew up in China and then travelled to another country to live, like a Chinese sojourner. I am deeply immersed in memories, giving me a sense of belonging while exploring the culture and identity. There is no single form of memory, and it exists simultaneously as memories of thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It is understood as the perception of the past. Moreover, it is not just to show memory. It also has relations with culture, history and society, to use these elements to trigger people's emotions, nostalgia, and melancholy.

- All the things in the photo are gone, only the white shirt and an old photo of my grandparent's bedroom are still with me.

1. Brown, Bill. “Thing Theory.” Critical Inquiry 28, no. 1 (2001): 1–22. http://www.jstor.org/stable/13....

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Cabinet from 2022
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Wine cabinet from 2012
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White shirt from 2019 - photo from “Things I have left behind” video
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White shirt from 2019 - photo from “Things I have left behind” video
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Birthday cake from 2016 - photo from “Things I have left behind” video
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Chair bought from 2015 put into a house in 2021
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