Born 1981, Kunming, Yunnan

Zeng Yang paints in circles. His monochromatic, distinctly surreal scenes—often in circular frames—are arranged in circles and spirals on outsized canvases. The results resemble a spinning comic strip or visual diary, but one without a storyline. Each canvas represents a particular event, the artist explains—a slice of the eternal whirlpool that is “time-space”. The individual images represent “all the bad thoughts that plague us. They come and go, round and round in circles, with no beginning and no end.” If we use our mind correctly, Zeng Yang says, we can learn to see these thoughts arising and disappearing—and understand that they exist only inside our heads. “Thoughts of greed and lust make the whole world hell,” he adds, “but once we grasp this and change, our thoughts can also bring us to heaven.”

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