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A black and white rendering of hands playing the strings of the guzheng


Meghan Guo

Guzheng is a piece that celebrates my Chinese heritage and the richness that exists in China’s millennia-long history. As an artist, I’ve always sought to explore various aspects of my culture, and with Guzheng, I wanted to highlight one of the most beautiful items from Chinese history. 古筝 (guzheng) is an ancient Chinese instrument that has been a staple in traditional Chinese music since 500 BCE. Its unique, plucked sound is what draws me to this ancient zither. Having only had the opportunity to take a class once, I wanted to at least create visual art inspired by the instrument.

Completed with only white-colored pencil and white charcoal on black paper, this piece literally highlights the awe and beauty I see in 古筝. Despite having never drawn with white on black, I knew I had to for this piece if I wanted to evoke the same dramatic sense of elegance and allure the instrument has in person.

If you’ve never heard of the 古筝 (guzheng), search it up on YouTube—I promise you won’t regret it.

Artist Statement Video:

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