We had the good fortune of connecting with Aleza Zheng and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Aleza, what role has risk played in your life or career?
For me, risk-taking is less about risk and more about having a little faith. It is allowing some unpredictability for the slightest hope that it might turn out good.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It started when I was three. I was at preschool when I walked by a lady with beautiful hair performing a musical instrument called the Guzheng. Somehow I was convinced the hair and the instrument were a package deal, so I took myself out of piano lessons to learn this instrument instead. I was obsessed. All the other kids at the music school were older, so I would practice and practice and practice to catch up to them. Eventually, I performed and competed on an international level, and through this process, I realized being a performer was about what didn’t make it to the stage. This is analogous to being an artist–it’s about the paintings that didn’t make it to the show, the ones that were thrown away.

This obsession with making something perfect–or as close to the idea as possible–has now manifested in my art. I feel like showing a work of art is like stepping on stage as a performer–you wouldn’t want to trip in front of your audience. So you keep on trying until you’re comfortable knowing that if you did mess up, you would know that there was nothing you could do differently.

I think painting is a screen to let the maker and audience observe each other across different points in time. I choose to paint interior scenes because I think of my work as a window, offering a chance to peer into someone’s story–one that they might not have told directly.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite places change every week. In the past few weeks for past dark activities, I’ve checked out the EightTwo, Moonlight Rollerblading, and The Spare Room. Wally’s is my go-to spot for a good meal, any time of the day. Lemonade is good as well.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Mommy, always.

Website: alezazheng.com

Instagram: instagram.com/alezazheng

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/alezazheng

Image Credits
Profile picture: Photographer: Saul Barrera

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