Biography

Ronen Zien is a visual artist and photographer. Born in Shefa-Amr (Shfar’am) in 1990, he lives and works between Tel Aviv and Shefa-Amr. Zien is a recent graduate of Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design’s MFA program, and holds a BFA from Bezalel’s photography department.

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My practice involves various photographic media, such as analog and digital photography, salt prints and cyanotypes, in addition to video and installation. I experiment in photographic materiality and ideology, while using photography’s documentary aspects to capture a certain reality while interfering with it and disturbing it. I perceive the viewer as an integral part of the work, and try to create a deep engagement.  

My works give voice to a complex personal and family story, while attempting to tone down and silence that same complexity. The result is a quiet expression of a loud convolution. Since I moved back to my parent’s home in Shefa-Amr, I’ve begun to hear the old family stories in new ways, and to experience new feelings toward them. My work traces the split, faded, or undermined identity, which is formed in relation to these family histories. Photography uncovers and preserves, and it allows me to maintain a certain distance and a wider perspective as I rebuild personal histories and memories. 

Another key protagonist in my work is the landscape. The local landscape serves as a central motivation, a catalizator for my artistic practice. I employ different perspectives to it: critical, interpretive, as well as ones of belonging and identification. I work towards exposing political tensions embodied in the landscape, exploring the land as both a cultural value and a commodity.