“To Create Yourself a Soul” by Yuqing Zhu Opens June 9th

Artist Yuqing Zhu’s Collaged Portraits Reveal a Soul Searching Journey

Elephant Room Gallery is excited to present their next solo exhibition – “To Create Yourself a Soul” by artist Yuqing Zhu. The exhibition opens with a reception on Friday, June 9th from 6 to 9pm and will be on view through July 22nd. There will be an artist talk on Saturday, June 24th at 3pm. The gallery is located at 704 S Wabash Ave. in the South Loop Neighborhood of Chicago. More information can be found on the gallery’s website: www.elephantroomgallery.com

Yuqing Zhu’s latest body of work is about searching for the soul out in the world. Referencing Alejandro Jodorowsky’s words at the beginning of the documentary on his unmade magnum opus; “What is the goal of the life? It’s to create yourself a soul.”, Zhu has created collaged portraits that contain representations of soul fragments. Each portrait spotlights objects that otherwise might appear insignificant; a flower, a knife, boots, etc. These objects in miniature capture some of the biggest moving forces of life: violence, history, connection to the earth and others. 

The patterns found in Zhu’s carefully layered wrapping papers, softly drawn figures and thoughtfully placed objects result in a visual poetry that combine the stories of today with the deep rooted history of heritage. Much like Zhu’s overall artistic practice, these pieces are homages to taking all that we can, leaving the rest, and embarking on the lifelong act of assembling our truest selves. 

About the Artist

Yuqing Zhu grew up between Southern Mongolia, Jiangsu Province in China, and coastal California. Their artistic journey began at the age of 5, when their grandma taught them how to create collages out of paper and fabric scraps. Zhu resides in Chinatown, Chicago (soon to be in Los Angeles), and, when not making art, studies neuroscience and AI as a PhD student at the University of Chicago. They will begin a faculty position at Pomona College this fall.