Xu Zhen 徐震

Chinese, b. 1977

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Xu Zhen 徐震

Chinese, b. 1977

2,301
Followers
Biography

Installation, performance, and video artist Xu Zhen combines humor and irony in his works, offering critique of political and art-world systems of human exploitation. Xu’s works, made both individually and (since 2009) through his collective practice MadeIn Company, have been frequently censored due their violent or erotic themes. His 2008 installation The Starving of Sudan featured a live African toddler and a mechanical vulture, installed in a gallery space that had been converted to look like a desolate rural African landscape. Xu is hyper-aware of the contemporary art market and often critiques its norms and structure; although associated with the politically provocative artist Ai Weiwei, Xu attributes a lighter agenda to his work. His piece 8848-1.86 (2005) includes a fictional video documentation of Xu climbing to, and subsequently removing, 1.86 meters of Mt. Everest’s peak. The supposed snowy peak was showcased in a refrigerated vitrine—sincere confusion and sensation ensued, as many believed the work to be literal.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
UCCA, and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
frieze, and 5 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 3 more
Biography

Installation, performance, and video artist Xu Zhen combines humor and irony in his works, offering critique of political and art-world systems of human exploitation. Xu’s works, made both individually and (since 2009) through his collective practice MadeIn Company, have been frequently censored due their violent or erotic themes. His 2008 installation The Starving of Sudan featured a live African toddler and a mechanical vulture, installed in a gallery space that had been converted to look like a desolate rural African landscape. Xu is hyper-aware of the contemporary art market and often critiques its norms and structure; although associated with the politically provocative artist Ai Weiwei, Xu attributes a lighter agenda to his work. His piece 8848-1.86 (2005) includes a fictional video documentation of Xu climbing to, and subsequently removing, 1.86 meters of Mt. Everest’s peak. The supposed snowy peak was showcased in a refrigerated vitrine—sincere confusion and sensation ensued, as many believed the work to be literal.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
UCCA, and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
frieze, and 5 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 3 more
Articles Featuring Xu Zhen 徐震
Why Video Is the Art Form of the Moment
Nov 27th, 2019
10 Artists Who Defined Chinese Contemporary Art
Jul 31st, 2018
China’s Big Business in Fake Art Does Exactly What Art Should
Dec 21st, 2015
Xu Zhen and David Chau Set Out to Bring the Art World to the Masses
Nov 20th, 2015
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