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Artists Zhang Huan

Zhang Huan

Chinese Performance Artist, Photographer, and Sculptor

Zhang Huan Photo
Movement: Performance Art

Born: 1965 - Anyang, Henan Province, China

"When you're really involved in your work, you don't have time to contemplate other things, such as basic living conditions and the meaning of life."


Zhang Huan's work is at times confrontational, visceral and personally dangerous, and it engages both implicitly and explicitly with problems of overpopulation, cultural erasure, political repression, poverty, famine, and want. He is one of the most significant contemporary artists working in China today, and a pioneer of Performance art within the country from the early 1990s. Although living in New York for a time, Zhang is part of a generation of contemporary Chinese artists that believe that modern China is the right context for the production of their work, with all its contradictions and difficulties as an emerging global superpower.

Originally making small (usually solo) performance work, Zhang is now an internationally renowned artist with a huge Shanghai studio, equipped and staffed to produce large-scale sculpture work. His career reflects the wave of modern Chinese art that became internationally recognized in the early 2000s, and his practice continues to shape and reflect the international art market's concept of active and significant Chinese artists.

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