Zhang Xiaogang, ‘Memory Box’, 1982-2016, Qiao Space
Zhang Xiaogang, ‘Memory Box’, 1982-2016, Qiao Space
Zhang Xiaogang, ‘Memory Box’, 1982-2016, Qiao Space
Zhang Xiaogang, ‘Memory Box’, 1982-2016, Qiao Space
Zhang Xiaogang, ‘Memory Box’, 1982-2016, Qiao Space
Zhang Xiaogang, ‘Memory Box’, 1982-2016, Qiao Space
Zhang Xiaogang, ‘Memory Box’, 1982-2016, Qiao Space
Zhang Xiaogang, ‘Memory Box’, 1982-2016, Qiao Space

Zhang Xiaogang was born in 1958 in Kunming, Yunnan Province. He graduated from the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts in 1982, with a bachelor’s degree from the Oil Painting Department. In 2007, he was appointed as Professor at the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts. Zhang currently lives and works in Beijing, China.

In the early ‘90s, under the influence of Western artistic modernism, Zhang began to explore photographs as the raw materials for his creative process. The “Bloodline - The Big Family” Series conveys the collective memory and psychological mood of the times; the a reinterpretation of the typical presentation of society, the collective, family and consanguinity. In 1994, he participated in the 46th Venice Biennale, and started to garner attention from the international art world. Zhang Xiaogang gradually became the face of Chinese Contemporary Art, and has repeatedly broken records for Chinese art with the prices fetched for his works at auctions.

"Studio"

Venue: Qiao Space, Shanghai (2016)

Artist Statement: For this exhibition I chose to present all the studios I have used over the past three decades. Apart from a few that were taken inside, the rest were all casual shots taken with my phone or camera. Some include the studio environment, the setting outside the window, but most are focused on the feeling of the process of my artworks gradually coming together piece by piece in these vastly different spaces. Besides the space itself and the surroundings, what really creates the feeling of attachment between a painter and his studio are the small details from time spent there and the emotional experiences during that time. The overall feeling is just as I wrote on my WeChat Moments [a social media post] - in going through all these pictures of past studios, it felt like reliving my life. Behind almost every picture there is a story. When you look back on all the studios you used over the past 30 years (some of which were bedrooms), besides seeing the traces of your own tenacious habits, almost every picture can really give you an impression of the times.

About Zhang Xiaogang

Relying on memory to recreate a highly personal version of his country’s history, Zhang Xiaogang makes art that is as much about himself as it is about China’s past. The grim imaginary families in his “Bloodlines: The Big Family” paintings of the 1990s and his 2005–06 series of grisaille portraits in oil reveal countless narratives about the aspirations and failures of the Cultural Revolution as well as Zhang’s own emotions. Like the blank visages of the individuals in these paintings, Zhang’s brass and concrete sculptures of figures, as well as implements used for recording history (such as fountain pens, notebooks, and light bulbs, all 2009), appear compressed and distorted by memory, age, and some unknown force.

Chinese, b. 1958, Kunming, China, based in Beijing, China