China-born, St. Louis-based visual artist Diana Zeng makes paintings by exploring the tension between belonging and alienation that defines identity. Through the extraordinary narratives embedded in easily overlooked moments, she captures the subtleties that exist with bold colors and sincere perspectives.


Diana Zeng

Born in Chengdu, China, Diana Zeng immigrated to the United States with her family just before her third birthday. After initially settling in Chicago, she spent her childhood moving to New Jersey and then to Massachusetts. Zeng made her way to Washington University in St. Louis where she was introduced to oil painting while going to school for business. This became the catalyst to her eventual pursuit of painting and art.

Zeng continues to work in oil while incorporating acrylic, ink, and nontraditional mediums into her process. Her early childhood studies in Chinese calligraphy and ink wash painting gave rise to her interpretive approach of subjects. Zeng’s work reflects a visual reality enriched by a vibrant depiction of how she imagines the world could be.

Here's a brief history of her journey.