Zhang Huan is a Chinese artist known for his physical and psychological endurance performances in the 1990s. His recent work has featured sculptures and paintings that explore themes of memory and spirituality and how these relate to Buddhist practice.
Zhang Huan was born in An Yang City, He Nan Province, China. He received his B.A. from Henan University in Kaifeng (1988) and his M.A. from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing (1993). Zhang began his work as part of a small artistic community, known as the Beijing East Village, located on the margins of the city. The group of friends from art school pioneered this particular brand of performance in China and Zhang was often reprimanded by officials for the perceived inappropriateness of his actions.
His issues are the traumas of a nation emerging from the brutality of the Cultural Revolution, famine, political repression, ideological zeal, the place of censorship in contemporary democracy and the hardship of everyday life in China. Several of his performances were banned by the Chinese government in the 1990s.
Before moving to the United States in 1998, he had gained a considerable reputation in Beijing due to the provocative nature of his performances, particularly those in which maltreated his own, nude body testing physical and mental endurance.
While he considered himself a Buddhist, it was only after his trip to Tibet in 2005 that his works showed a strong reference to the religion. Inspired, he created giant copper hands and feet, magnified versions of fragments of broken Buddhist figures that he found in Tibet.
He is considered as one of the most vital, influential and provocative contemporary artists working today. The layers of ideas this artist explored in his early performance art, were made out of existential explorations and social commentaries, and have carried through to the more traditional studio practice he embraced upon moving to Shanghai in 2005, after living and working for eight years in New York City. He established Zhang Huan Studio, where he continued to expand his artistic works, creating new forms and expanding into new areas. The ash painting technique he created has added another method of painting to art history, other techniques, such as sculpting in cowhide, door carvings and feather woodcuts have all been pioneered by Zhang Huan.
Paying attention to the spirit and future of humanities, Zhang Huan is dedicated to the extension of boundaries in forms and subjects of oriental and occidental, past and present art creation.
Currently, he lives and works in New York and Shanghai.
|2015||Contemporary Chinese Photography||The Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, USA||Group|
|2014||Zhang Huan - Spring Poppy Fields||Pace London, London||Solo|
|2014||Zhang Huan: Evoking Tradition||Storm King Art Center, New York, USA||Solo|
|2014||Zhang Huan||Pace Chesa Büsin, Zuoz, Switzerland||Solo|
|2014||Utopian Days-Freedom||Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea||Group|
|2014||Where is China?||Museum of the Orient, Lisbon, Portugal||Group|
|2014||Where is China?||World Art Museum, China||Group|
|2014||Typology, Taxonomy and Seriality: Photography from the Walther Collection||Espace Van Gogh, Arles, France||Group|
|2013||Zhang Huan Poppy Fields||The Pace Gallery - 534 West 25th Street, New York City, NY||Solo|
|2013||Looking East, Facing West: The World of Zhang Huan||Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Michigan, USA||Solo|
|2013||Zhang Huan: Soul and Matter||Palazzo Vecchio and Forte di Belvedere, Florence, Italy||Solo|
|2013||Disaster||Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France||Group|
|2013||Through the Eyes of Texas: Masterworks from Alumni Collections||Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas, Texas, USA||Group|
|2013||The Collectors' Show: Weight of History||Singapore Art Museum, Singapore||Group|
|2013||Culture . Mind . Becoming||Collateral Event of Chinese Art at the 55th Venice Art Biennale 2013, Palazzo Mora, Venice, Italy||Group|
|2013||The Red Queen||The Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Australia||Group|
|2012||Zhang Huan: Ash Paintings and Memory Doors||Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada||Solo|
|2012||Zhang Huan: The Mountain is Still a Mountain||White Cube, London, UK||Solo|
|2012||Zhang Huan: Jin Hui Dui||Gallery 100, Taipei, Taiwan||Solo|
|2012||Superbodies||Hasselt, Hasselt, Belgium||Group|
|2012||Swept Away: Dust, Ashes and Dirt in Contemporary Art and Design||Museum of Arts and Design, New York, USA||Group|
|2012||Transforming Minds: Buddhism in Art||Asia Society Hong Kong Center, Hong Kong||Group|
|2012||Omen2012-Chinese New Art||Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China||Group|
|2011||Zhang Huan: Q Confucius||Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China||Solo|
|2011||Zhang Huan: 49 Days||Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, USA||Solo|
|2011||Zhang Huan: East Wind, West Wind||Espace Louis Vuittion Macao, Macao||Solo|
|2011||Zhang Huan: Ash Banquet||ProjectB Gallery, Milan, Italy||Solo|
|2011||Skin, The Foundation of Claude Verdan||Museum of Science and Art, Lausanne, Switzerland||Group|
|2011||About Identity||Art Stations Foundation by Grazyna Kulczyk, Poznan, Poland||Group|
|2011||The World Belongs to You||Palazzo Grassi, Francois Pinault Foundation, Venice, Italy||Group|
|2011||Big Brother, Artists Facing Tyrants||Palais des Arts, Dinard, France||Group|
|2010||Zhang Huan: Dawn of Time||Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China||Solo|
|2010||Zhang Huan: Free Tiger Returns to Mountains||Pace Beijing, Beijing, China||Solo|
|2010||Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance||The Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA||Group|
|2010||The Silk Road||From Saatchi Gallery, Tri Postal, Lille, France||Group|
|2010||The Tiger in Asian Art||Asia House, London, UK||Group|
|2010||Negotiations||Today Art Museum, Beijing, China||Group|
|2009||Neither Coming Nor Going||PaceWildenstein, New York, USA||Solo|
|2009||Zhang Huan: Memory Doors||Haunch of Venison, Zurich, Switzerland||Solo|
|2009||Steel Life||La Triennale di Milano, Milano, Italy||Group|
|2009||Beg Borrow and Steal||The Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA||Group|
|2008||Zhang Huan: Blessings||PaceWildenstein, New York, USA||Solo|
|2008||Zhang Huan: Altered States||Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada||Solo|
|2008||Body Language: Chinese Photography||National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia||Group|
|2007||Zhang Huan: Altered States||Asia Society, New York, USA||Solo|
|2007||Zhang Huan: Ash||Haunch of Venison, London, England||Solo|
|2005||Zhang Huan: Seeds of Hamburg||Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA||Solo|
|2004||Zhang Huan, Tri Postal, Lille 2004||Cultural Capital of Europe, Lille, France||Solo|
|2001||Zhang Huan: Famliy Tree||Galerie Albert Benamou, Paris, France||Solo|