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Choose KU, Choose the World

Wenju ZhangWenju Zhang

by Jeff Blair '18

Wenju Zhang, a visiting artist from China, specializes in printmaking and Chinese folk art.  She comes to KU from Yuncheng University located in Shanxi Province, China.

Zhang's visit was organized by Evan Summer, professor of art and art history, who himself has made multiple trips to China. Yuncheng University has sponsored Zhang's trip and she will be with KU for the spring semester.

When asked what made her want to come to Kutztown, Zhang said. "I have heard great things about the art education program here and I also wanted to learn more about American culture."

She also mentioned that Kutztown was not far from Philadelphia or New York City, two areas she wants to visit which are renowned for their art.

Since coming to Kutztown, she has noticed some similarities and differences between American and Chinese colleges. For example, she noticed that it was more challenging to graduate from a college over here, however, it was harder to get into college in China. She also noticed some similarities such as both teachers and students being very passionate, talented and hardworking.

When discussing what initially got Zhang into art, she mentioned that since a young age she always spent a lot of time drawing and painting.  At some point during middle school, she realized art was what she wanted to focus on.  However, she did not immediately get into printmaking and instead got her start with art in oil painting.

When she first entered college, Zhang mainly studied painting and education. It was not until 2004 that Wenju began to study printmaking at Tianjin Academy. A few years after obtaining her degree, she began teaching printmaking and fine arts at Yuncheng University and eventually participated in the National Teacher Training Program. This program gave her the opportunity to teach elementary and middle school teachers printmaking techniques which they could then implement in their classrooms.

While at KU, Zhang will teach students not only about Chinese folk art, but about certain techniques used in printmaking that are used in China but are not commonly used over here.  With her prints, she expresses subjective feelings using bright black and white and juxtaposed spaces to build certain atmosphere. For more information on Zhang and her artwork, you can visit her website.

Additional Information

Wenju Zhang in the art studio