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Periaktoi Visual Art Gallery

Volume 56
Issue 1

Single Visual Art Post

  • AP Portfolio
Tina Zheng- AP Drawing Portfolio
Tina Zheng
What separates people from animals? In my sustained investigation, I explore the defining characteristics of being human. As Greek philosopher Plotinus said, humanity is "poised midway between gods and beasts." To be human means striving and toil to no end and suffering. And we, with our complex brains, hands with opposable thumbs, and use of tools, can create meaningful art and writing.
Using only black and white materials, my investigation first documents humanity's bleak existence. From nameless workers (Works #1, #2, #3) to classical figures like Sisyphus, Laocoon, Prometheus, Adam, and Eve (Works #3, #4, #5), each figure reflects the human condition of living a life of suffering. Halfway through, the pessimistic outlook shifts to an optimistic one. In these works, I add color and repeat symbolic features like hands, tools, and the brain to emphasize unique human anatomy (particularly Works #13, #14, #15) and our ability to create art and writing (Works #9 and #12).