Zhang Peili
Chinese, born 1957
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Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
2018
Art Patrons 艺术赞助人,
Qiao Space
2017
Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World,
Guggenheim Museum
2013
THE GARDEN OF DIVERSION,
Sifang Art Museum

Considered the father of video art in China, Zhang Peili has been producing incisive, internationally acclaimed works since the 1980s, building a career that ushered in and encompasses the entire history of Chinese video art. Keenly critical of his country’s authoritarian leadership, he sees his work as a form of protest revealing the forces shaping Chinese society and the lives of its citizens. Inspired by the endurance-testing videos of artists like Andy Warhol and Bruce Nauman, Zhang uses mundane, repetitive actions and scenes to demonstrate the absurdity and destructiveness of ritualized behavior and social norms. 30 x 30 (1988), his first video work, is an intentionally excruciating three-hour loop of a pair of gloved hands shattering a mirror, then piecing it back together—an acerbic critique of the rage for watching television, yet another form of thought-control in China.