Xiaohong Zhang was born in Hubei, China. She received MFA from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in 2002. She is an Associate Professor in Department of Art and Design at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Xiaohong Zhang's works have been displayed in Canada, Japan, Scotland, South Korea, China, as well as California, New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Philadelphia in the U.S. One of her art works "American Zodiac" was selected for the 5th Beijing International Art Biennale, National Art Museum of China in 2012. She was honored to be among the 16 Americans to participate in the exhibition and conference after the Curatorial Committee's strict selection from the works submitted by artists from more than 90 countries.
In 2011 Zhang organized an international traveling exhibition and symposium at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. "Across the Divide" exhibition focuses on a shared cultural identity over differing geopolitical convictions under the large frame of Chinese culture with work by twenty-four contemporary Chinese artists who are presently working in academia across the United States.
Her works also have been included in "The 9th Biennial International Miniature Print Exhibition" in 2013, consecutive "Wisconsin Triennial" juried exhibitions in 2007 and 2010 at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Madison, Wisconsin. She was selected for "The Moment At Hand" juried international competition in 2009 at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Kohler, Wisconsin. In 2009 Zhang was accepted to the juried competition "Current Tendencies" as one of ten artists from Wisconsin at Haggerty Museum of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She also won an Honorable Mention Award in the "Circling the Globe Through Women's Lives" international juried competition.
Zhang specializes in large-scale northern Chinese style paper cutting. As an artistic tradition, paper cutting dates back to the sixth century making it one of the oldest art forms in China. She started to use scissors to cut different symbols with great joy when she was a child and then graduated to working with blades and cotton acid free paper to make her own paper-cutting pieces. Since 2007 she started to blend the traditional paper cutting with digital printing on Japanese rice paper. By combining paper cutting, a Chinese art form dating to the sixth century, with stylized depictions of contemporary consumerism and aesthetics, Zhang's work explores the powerful impact of Western cultural dominance on Chinese society. Zhang emigrated from China to the United States in 1997, and her experiences as a first- generation immigrant inform much of her work, which often interrogates historical and cultural themes from a Chinese perspective. The artist also addresses the complexities inherent in straddling two distinct cultural worlds.