Born and raised in Shenzhen, China, Zipu Zhao came to the United States by herself at age 15 to pursue her academic career. Zhao completed her high school education in Stamford, CT, where she developed her ongoing interest in theatre from numerous Broadway viewing experiences. To further explore her creative outlets, she received her BA in Studio Arts with a BSBA in Marketing at the University of Pittsburgh in 2020. Currently living in Pittsburgh, PA, Zhao is looking forward to pursuing creative and administrative careers in the art field.
I am a multimedia artist whose work explores the boundary between the mundane and absurd. Fascinated and influenced by film and theatre, I intend to generate sincere yet ambivalent emotions through staged and manipulated production. My source of inspiration often comes from my day to day observations: whether it’s a scene from a movie I watched, a play I enjoyed, or random objects I discovered in a thrift store. I approach my works as mind collages --- gathering pieces of information to form new spaces that encourage the audience to interpret the work on a personal level.
With photography, I aim to explore and exploit the space existing between the real and the surreal. I use mannequins and figurines to mimic realistic scenarios, intending to create a sense of uncanniness. For my painting process, I often browse through magazines, old photographs, and movie stills to discover the subject that interests me the most, then proceed to render a scene around it. Besides personal projects, I work collaboratively with fellow artists for video productions that elaborate on technology and human behaviors. Working in groups allows me to gain perspectives through unfamiliar fields. From camera work, wardrobe, sound design to casting, budgeting, and time management, I relish acquiring new skills and outlooks from peers in the hope of enriching my future art practices.