the short

My name is Kening, (pronounced like “awakening"). 

I was born in China, raised in the pine forests of North Carolina, and moved to New York City to study creative writing and history at Columbia.

I make art about our inner worlds. I want to show you how art can transform us and empower us. I believe in art as a way of intimacy — with ourselves, and with the world — and way of loving and living better lives.

You can explore my art shop here
Read my nonfiction stories here
Wander through my ideas around creativity & self here
Read about my journey here

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook 
Write me at kening@keningzhu.com






the long

For a long time I resisted considering myself an artist.

Instead I worked in architecture, in advertising, in marketing, in branding, in graphic design — and I hid behind the desire to please clients, please bosses, please anyone except my soul’s voice. It was too demanding, of course. It wanted me to do ridiculously idealistic, unreasonably romantic things.

The problem is, ignoring that voice kept me from feeling truly awake, truly satisfied, truly certain that I was making the absolute most from my transitory time on earth. So here I am, listening. 

My desire is to make a body of work that moves and resonates. Work that strikes a chord. I’m drawn to the intimacy of the personal experience — how it reveals the universal, to what is human in all of us.

All artists make work from their internal worlds, but my art is about the internal world. It is a practice of learning to see — first, oneself, and then, others — and to be truly seen in return.