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Mei Zhao is a Chinese-born, Sydney-based artist working in painting, drawing, printmaking and installation. She grew up in Tianjin, China, and relocated to Australia as a skilled migrant in 1994. Her practice is influenced by her past, firstly as a forced farming labourer in her teenage years in China during the Cultural Revolution, and then as an immigrant in Australia. These experiences inform her aim to communicate a merging cultural experience through a multi-perspectival form of topographical representation to express multi-cultural communities entangled with the place. At the same time, it creates a dialogue with local communities who consider the early Chinese as part of their local history. Through this process, Zhao seeks to embrace a culturally diverse position of place within the expanded field of painting, in which landscape can express living memories while simultaneously embodying an artistic process of understanding the nuanced social and cultured landscape in which we live.

Zhao obtained a Bachelor of Fine Art in painting from the National Art School (NAS) in 2019 and completed a Master of Fine Art in painting there in 2022. Zhao has exhibited in multiple group exhibitions in Australia and was the winner of the Clyde & Co Art Award Exhibition in 2020. She was also awarded the Squatter’s Artist Residency of the Foundations at Portland and a research grant from Create NSW in 2023. Her works are held in St Vincent’s Private Hospital and private collections in Australia and the United States.

In 2023, Zhao was a finalist in the Hazelhurst Art on Paper and Hunters Hill Art Prize and several curated group shows. Her inaugural solo exhibition, 'Liminal Places,' took place at the Dragon's Lair Gallery in the Hurstville Museum & Gallery from July to August 2023, which includes a body of works from her current project, cross-cultural mapping of Chinese market gardens in Sydney and regional NSW supported by Create NSW. Following this success, Zhao was invited for another solo exhibition, 'Happy Valley,' at the Bay View Gallery of La Perouse Museum in Sydney from September 2023 to January 2024. This exhibition featured a staged and experimental display of her ongoing exploration of early Chinese market gardens intertwined with the history and current local social-cultural landscapes through methods of painting and installation.

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