Zitong Zhao: Interactive Intimacy

Our recent applicant to the Salon de Refusées, Zitong Zhao, is a multifaceted artist whose journey from academic halls to the vibrancy of urban life is marked by a deep engagement with youth subcultures and the authentic narratives of queer culture. Her work in game design transcends traditional mechanics, instead serving as a narrative vessel for her emotions and experiences.


My life as an artist has been a fragile ballet with contradictions, where applause and rejection are are constant companions. In the Salon de Refusés, I find a refuge where these seemingly contradictory ideas might blossom into something lovely.
Instead of opening doors to new possibilities, rejection’s icy touch caused deep self-reflection. What I’ve learned is that the heart of art goes beyond the invisible walls that gatekeepers put up; it’s a pulse of the human experience. A sorrow sense like a solitary car navigating a never-ending meadow, surrounded by possibilities yet limited by unseen obstacles, has been my experience with my artwork, a mix of freedom and puzzlement.
The everyday, the often-overlooked moments of life where simplicity is key have been my subjects. The rumpled hallways of Poundland have been my inspiration, reassuring me that all that is required to appreciate genuine art is a willing heart and mind.
Each of my pieces is woven with the raw strands of my emotions and life’s tapestry, making every rejection more than a mere industry setback; it becomes a deeply personal echo of dismissal.
As an ode to this belief, I am joining the Salon de Refusés. My art finds its place in this diverse collection of unique visions. Every brushstroke and hue tells a tale—not only mine, but the story of art itself— unconstrained, unfettered, and absolutely enthralling. Here, the conclusion of one journey signifies the start of another, and the rejected are prized.

– Zitong Zhao


Zitong Zhao’s artistry in photography captures fleeting yet profound everyday moments, while her indie art films are visual poems that resonate with shared human emotions. Her sculptures and soundscapes are physical and auditory diaries, respectively, embodying and echoing the symphonies of her personal history. Zitong’s creations are an invitation to witness the amalgamation of subject and object, offering a profound reflection of her identity while beckoning others to explore the nuanced layers of their own.

Zitong Zhao’s work ‘NONSENSE: Today’s Goal is to Eat Fries – Crispy Fries, That Is’ is a digital game in the endless tapestry of the commonplace, inviting you to explore the gaps in-between.


The "Salon de Refusées" is an art initiative inspired by the historic 1863 Paris exhibition. It's a platform celebrating female (read) artists who've faced rejection, turning exclusion into empowerment. Our project is dedicated to showcasing art in its most authentic form, creating a space where diverse voices and stories are seen and revered. Join us in this artistic uprising, where each piece adds to our resilience and the unyielding spirit of creativity.