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Canada’s leading contemporary outdoor and online art fair

July 12 – 14, 2024.

Emily Zou

Nathan Phillips Square
Booth 208

My art practice is deeply rooted in my lifelong struggle with mental health. Since childhood, I found refuge in making art. It is how I navigate deeply felt emotions like a puzzle. Across all mediums, a visual language composed of obsessive detail, entanglement, darkness, and light embodies an emotional and turbulent psychological world. I have vivid, surreal, whimsical, and illogical dreams that inspire my drawings and paintings. Beginning in 2020 (because of quarantine and climate anxiety), I played with found materials to declutter my apartment without disposing of anything. This experiment burgeoned into a series of sculptures that symbolize the human experience where chaotic energy, unlikely objects, and trash take on a new life.

My earliest artistic influences include the beautiful hand-drawn and hand-painted illustrations in search-and-find and children’s books. It was a joyous experience to escape into fantastically crafted worlds. Here sprouted my adoration for detail and the desire to create a similar search-and-find experience for viewers. As destiny propelled me into city life, 9+ years of crowds, human-made structures, and materialism have made their way into my art, and climate uncertainty fuels my desire to upcycle and inspire people to do the same. I want my art to spark dialogue where our vulnerabilities and fragilities can be shared and seen, for people to see their darkness as a source of strength rather than a deficiency, and for people to see potential in what society defines as “trash.”

I am a Toronto-based Canadian-Chinese multimedia artist, sculptor, illustrator, painter, and maker of earrings. As a 2020 OCAD University alumna, I have exhibited my work at Nuit Blanche, the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, Mackenzie Investments, Propeller Art Gallery, Northern Contemporary Gallery, Gallery 1313, John B. Aird Gallery, Florence Contemporary Gallery, The Jackalope Contemporary Art Gallery, the University of Toronto, OCAD University, and featured in Existere - Journal of Arts & Literature, and the 2020 Mental Health Europe Empowerment Webinar.

Click on each artwork for a list of materials. Email inquiries to [email protected], and follow @emilyzouart on Instagram for updates throughout the fair. Please stop by my booth and introduce yourself. I would love to meet you.

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