Qinru Zhang reshapes the meaning of modern Asian femininity with her multidisciplinary art and design work. She has garnered recognition for her distinctive and somewhat unsettling portrayal of female characters that challenge the patriarchal expectations and stereotypes imposed upon women. Her female characters exude a seemingly polite and pleasing demeanor, but in reality, they display assertive and confrontational behavior.
Qinru Zhang’s animation, The MILF Film, was awarded the Gold Winner in the 2023 NYX Video Awards, triumphing over 1,500 entries from around the world. The piece features a bold portrayal of the housewife figure, who is traditionally submissive, as a fierce character. Through this work, Qinru Zhang challenges conventional stereotypes and reclaims women’s freedom to express their desires and embrace their distinct female identity, breaking down the restrictive labels imposed on women.
Beyond the confines of digital media, Qinru Zhang expanded The MILF Film into The MILF Collection, which features the recreation of the iconic MILF figure through cutting-edge tools such as interactive robotics and augmented reality. The MILF Collection, alongside the artist’s other interactive pieces such as Momomomomi and Homecore, has been exhibited in numerous cities worldwide, such as New York, Providence, Denver, Beijing, and Xiamen.
In addition to her artwork, Qinru Zhang is also a designer advocating for Asian female representation. She was commissioned as the sole catalogue designer for the exhibition “Inter-Rituals: Between Materiality and Performance” in New York’s Caelum Gallery from March 30 to April 1, which featured artworks by three Asian artists working in the US, Kun Hong, Yin Zhang, and Yinglun Zhang.
The catalogue designed by Qinru Zhang celebrates the three artists’ art-making process and reflects the cultural integration between the East and the West. By boldly reimagining the female-leading Asian ritual concepts in a modern definition, Qinru Zhang’s catalogue has won the Platinum Winner award at the 2023 Hermes Creative Awards.
As a multimedia artist and designer, Qinru Zhang aims to challenge the notion of passivity and submissiveness often associated with Asian femininity. She hopes that her work will serve as a catalyst for conversation and reflection, prompting viewers to question their own preconceived notions of Asian femininity and identity.