Chinese Plaid? Artist Transforms Photo Collages Into Amazing Patterns

One of Zhang's works viewed up close. (Screenshot/OFOTO Gallery)
One of Zhang's works viewed up close. (Screenshot/OFOTO Gallery)

When seen from above, the world looks very different, and can even appear to be something else.

Beijing artist Zhang Bojun has used this principle to create unique fabric patterns from photos of crowds.

Over the course of seven years, Zhang made his “We” series with photomontages collected from the streets of China, weaving them into tartan, stripes, hound’s tooth, and gingham tapestries that are 3 feet wide.

When viewed up close, you can see the individual people that make up the material, but from afar it looks like plaid. The images are currently on display at Shanghai‘s OFOTO Gallery til Jan. 20.

Zhang’s work looks at the migration of Chinese people, and their shattered dreams seeking work in the city while mostly unsettled. The artist empathizes with their predicament, and makes a social commentary.

In his artist’s statement, Zhang says: “In the past 30 years, the rapid developing speed of city which had never happened in the history of China before required much more immigrants to work in the city,

so that many people moving back and forth like migratory birds…

“My creation of work is all about people. I deeply understand Chinese people’s survival surroundings under social hierarchy… I feel that people in Chinese society are like ants, the stronger sense of suppression and depression we experience, the harder struggling we are…

He concludes: “Besides, everyone I encountered is a mirror of my own, I see we ourselves in the mirror. That’s why I name the recent completed work ‘We’ and its theme is us.”

Here are a few samples from the series:


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