Xiaohong Zhang’s “Pregnancy” and the Nurturing of Baby Within
In this beautiful papercut work by artist Xiahong Zhang, a pregnant woman’s profile depicts her baby nestled and nurtured within her belly. Networks of vines, branches and leaves course through the entirety of the woman’s form, connecting her body to the broader intricacy of life that is characteristic of the natural world. The woman’s baby rests comfortably within her womb, eyes closed, its own form protected by the strong rootedness of its tree-like mother.
The delicate patterns of this paper cut, interwoven and organic in design, relax the viewers, reminding them that the pregnant body is a place connected to nature and to the earth. Built to carry her babies and bring them forth into the world, the pregnant woman is a place of strength, nurturing and comfort. Closing their eyes, other pregnant women may feel a calmness come over them as they visualize their own bodies as strong trees or other organic structures capable of nurturing and protecting their babies.
Xiaohong Zhang is an artist, professor and mother, originally from Hubei, China. In addition to papercutting, she has worked with other artistic media, including pottery, video and commercial web design. Her art has been shown widely in museums and galleries. More of her work may be seen or she may be reached through her website.