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zzzhou.diane at gmail.com

Diane Zhou (b 1992) also has a Chinese name. She thought she knew how to write it, but then at age 23 she saw a famous panda with the same name pronunciation having a 37th birthday party, and realized it was written differently than she'd thought, causing her to spiral into an identity crisis.


This name is also shared with a robot goddess.

She thus adopted this Chinese name for 12 months, using it for all the work-related and social connections she made in Beijing. Then she asked her parents how it was written and she realized that she had been writing it wrong again.

It is actually written in a way that means "water reeds". Also, the panda is dead.

Diane lives and works in New York. Through painting, embroidery, comics, drawings, gifs, and web browser-based collages, she makes visible the cultural and psychological implications of her relationship to cuteness, consumption, and feelings of geographical rootedness, as informed by her existence within the loosely defined "Asian diaspora". She focuses on objects and landscapes drawn from personal experiences, history, and pop culture. The coexistence of these real and fictional subjects in her work is an analog to the unbounded gooey feelings of desire, connection, and alienation that underpin categories of racial/ethnic identity, and the way those feelings tend to leak out of neat categorizations. She hopes to create new ways for culturally un-tethered diasporic individuals to find common ground that goes beyond geographical/biological roots, and to bring more complexity into our conceptions of identity.