Creative Collaborators

Areta Wang - Resident Choreographer

Areta Wang is a Visual Artist who has worked as a Key Creative Collaborator with Philein since 2007.  Her visual works are often used as a backdrop for Ziru Dance's set design and color schematics. Further, she reviews drafts of Philein’s choreography and provides insight and constructive guidance as each piece of work takes shape. As a Female Minority Artist with Disability and Illness since 2008, she has overcome many challenging obstacles to remain present and dedicated when focusing her limited energy on creating new work. Her art is the culmination of a life full of and informed by her in-depth study of human movement and the aesthetics and mechanics of action and expression. As a youth, she pursued art out of pure enjoyment, a constant and continued center, her focus based on the human form. Her interests in martial arts and her training as an actor naturally combined in a pursuit of stage combat and fight choreography- the craft of expressing story and nuance of human experience through action. Over the years, her consistent interest led her to study physical therapeutic art; thereby deepening her understanding of the body and its function. Over the past decade, even as injury and illness turned her sights to exploring the body and life anew, she continued expressing her internal drive and passion for movement onto canvas with paint and brush and digital art.


Areta holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Boston University and has held solo exhibitions in prestigious galleries and Performing Arts Centers in the U.S. and China.

“I understand movement and color, sound and tonalities as different expressions on a wide spectrum that is all, when you distill it back down, the same thing. When I start a new work, I have the seed or spark of something I would like to create.  Throughout the process, I continuously throw away ideas of what I want to do, and instead, make choices based on what works for the piece and not for me.  It tells me when it is done.


Painting, especially now that I am disabled and limited, has always felt like the fleshing out of movement in colors, textures, and weight. I measure colors the way I do words. I believe in reveals. In revelations. Finding the joists and louvers between bodies forms music words because everything is an extension of the last. The lick of a line skips into stretch of limb that fades into dark, a chiaroscuro edge that whistles adagios in cerulean silk punctuated by a note, by the beat of a drum, of a hand and of a word. 


I don’t paint so much as I tease out what is inside the colors. The grain of a stroke of paint has countless lines of sight to follow. I discover the painting as it reveals itself to me (which sounds so pretentious!). The more I put aside what I think I see, the more I can suss out what is there. I can only excavate and reveal what I can perceive. I am always waiting to learn more. Understand, more. The way a dancer plays with musicality, or a musician levels souls in a curve of finger angled just so, I parse out shadows and forms like etymology, finding the roots and bifurcation. Everything is everything.”

- Areta Wang

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