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Junyi Zhang

An observer, an experiencer, a narrator who is interested in 

body, transition, liminality,

occult, mythology, fictional narrative,

drawing, blurred edges, distilled abstract shapes,

fire, violence, explosions,

love, relationship, everyday rituals…

Show Location: Battersea campus: Studio Building, Ground floor

Junyi Zhang-statement

I use drawing, moving image, sound and writing to cast a magical veil over normal everyday rituals. Something strange, wild and free from the rational mundanity then come out. Sometimes I use narrative texts, especially myths and mythological studies which serve as collective subconscious or the bridges between ancient and modern life, to weave different parts of my visual work.

In this project, I explore the images of women in mythologies from the perspective of the body, make my own response to the violence and oppression hidden within, and then create new female bodies and new myths. In these new stories, different living beings are not simply themselves, but combined together to form a symbiotic community. New possibilities that differ from existing rules and concepts can be found. 

Keywords: body, myth, feminine, violence, metamorphosis, burning, devouring.


Chapter 1 - Raw meat eaters, media item 1
Chapter 1 - Raw meat eaters, media item 2
Chapter 1 - Raw meat eaters, media item 3
Chapter 1 - Raw meat eaters, media item 4
Chapter 1 - Raw meat eaters, media item 5


Body is a bearer of violence.

I question the previous myths and look at them from a female perspective. I am exploring how the women’s bodies in some of mythologies were broken, deformed, bound, domesticated, parasitized, transformed, disintegrated and ‘eaten’.   

The figures in the paintings have been burnt by fire, leaving charred, dry traces that show the inherent but hidden violence in myths to trigger emotions such as anger, vulnerability, fear and empathy.

Body is a medium of connection.

The bodies of all things are in a constant process of change, from wet to dry, raw to cooked, liquid to solid, soft to hard, alive to dead. Nobody's body is static, fixed or enclosed. The video uses macro lenses to show in detail the similar textures and blurred divisions between different bodies and the subtle process of transformation, suggesting an intrinsic connection and the dissolution of estrangement.


Chapter 3 - Children of birds and trees, media item 1
Chapter 3 - Children of birds and trees, media item 1


Grow, grow, grow till the branches intertwine and arms entwine. Feathers grow on branches, crystals climb up the spines, trunks connect the feet of animals. Bodies flow, transform, intermingle and interconnect, moving through space and time. Weird living and non-living entities gather around, open their arms, look at each other, touching, embracing and dancing.

The body is a site of expression. I invite people to imagine their own ideal new bodies based on each of their unique personal emotions and experiences. These characters are put into paintings from which new narratives are created. As these new possibilities are seen, people can give some thought to fixed identities and challenge the existing rules associated with femininity.