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