Mei Zhao is a Chinese-born, Sydney-based multi-disciplinary 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 teenager years in China during the Cultural Revolution, and then as an immigrant in Australia. Art-making has been Zhao’s life passion from a young age. She taught herself painting and drawing to help endure the harsh farming time. She now explores her experiences of living in different landscapes through cross-cultural approaches.
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 is 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.
Her two solo shows will be presented at the Dragon's Lair Gallery in the Hurstville Museum & Gallery and La Perouse Museum in Sydney later this year. These include a body of works from her current project, cross-cultural mapping of Chinese market gardens in Sydney and regional NSW, which is supported by the Create NSW.