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The Symbiotic Relationship Between Spirituality, Animals and Art as Observed by Keer Zhang
Text: Cristina Ioan
Ever heard of animal environmental crisis art? Are you a fan of symbolism and spirituality? What if I told you that there is a talented, innovative artist out there who blends these themes together seamlessly in their art? Look no further than Keer Zhang.
Keer Zhang is an artist whose animation offers a compelling, multifaceted commentary on the relationship between humans and animals using intricate interplay between the Taoism religion, divine animals, environmental protection and broader themes of nature and wildlife.

Her latest work transports the viewer to ancient China, where they witness the mistreatment of sea creatures. Through her installation, which juxtaposes plastic sea turtle eggs with a harpoon symbolizing the threat posed by illegal fishing practices, she confronts viewers with the stark realities of the animal environmental crisis.

Powerful and thought-provoking, Keer's call to action disguised as art, urges us to renew our relationship with nature and our role in preserving it.

At the heart of the artist's work lies a profound engagement with Taoist principles, particularly evident in her selection of animals rich in Taoist symbolism. The inclusion of the turtle, deer, goose, and rabbit is not incidental; rather, it reflects a deliberate choice to highlight the intrinsic connection between these creatures and Taoist beliefs. From the ancient Chinese reverence for the turtle god, Xuanwu, to the Taoist associations of the deer with longevity and the rabbit with immortality, each animal embodies profound spiritual significance within Taoism.
In this context, Keer's engagement with animal art takes on added significance. By incorporating representations of divine animals into her work, she not only pays homage to the rich tradition of wildlife art in Taoism but also invites viewers to contemplate the broader ethical implications of human-animal relationships. Through her visually striking installations, she challenges us to reconsider our assumptions about the status of animals in both religious and secular contexts, urging us to recognize their intrinsic value and inherent dignity.

Crucially, the artist's work transcends mere aesthetic appreciation to become a catalyst for social and environmental change. By humanising animals in her installations, the artist encourages viewers to empathize with their plight and recognize the interconnectedness of all living beings. Whether through her portrayal of divine animals in Taoist legend or her depiction of the harsh realities of the animal environmental crisis, Keer as an artist, challenges us to confront our own role in shaping the future of our planet.

Finally, her chosen themes render this art both visually captivating and intellectually stimulating. I would also describe it as art transcending age as it can be easily understood by younger audiences as well as old.

Through her art, Keer Zhang inspires introspection and action, urging viewers to reconsider their relationship with animals and the environment. It's a testament to the power of art to provoke thought, evoke emotion, and catalyse positive change in the world around us.
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