Silence and Story-telling in Zhang Xiaogang’s New Works at Pace

By Chiu-Ti Jansen

Last week, when I walked into Pace Gallery in New York’s Chelsea art district, I found Zhang Xiaogang’s (b. 1958) recent body of works telling a story about how collective and personal memories are transmitted through family members’ seeming inability to tell stories to each other about their own painful experience. And his new sculptural works, largely made in New York, are a mind-blowing tour-de-force of self-referential “reinterpretations” of his own painterly works. 

While autobiographical on the surface, Zhang’s works are relevant to many viewers because aesthetically, they evoke feelings about the universal aspect of fundamental human relationships. His latest burst of creative energy rubbed off on the enthusiasts that mobbed Pace’s opening reception, including artist Chuck Close and 2011 Miss China, Luo Zilin.
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Chiu-Ti Jansen is the founder of China Happeningsa multimedia and advisory platform that focuses on the lifestyle and cultural industries of contemporary China. Follow her on Twitter at @chiutijansen.