Zhang Xiaogang (Chinese, b.1958) is a preeminent member of the Chinese avant-garde, whose Surrealist-influenced work focuses on the aftereffects of China’s Cultural Revolution, and the meaning of family, history, and memory in China today. Zhang was born in Kunming, in southern China’s Yunnan Province, and grew up during the Cultural Revolution under Mao Zedong. His parents were forced into “study camps” while he was a boy, and Zhang was sent to a “reeducation camp” to perform hard labor as a young adult; these experiences directly impacted his art later in life.

Following the 1976 collapse of the regime, Zhang attended the Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts, where he was influenced by Vincent van Gogh, Millet, and the Surrealist movement. Zhang is best known for his Bloodlines series, inspired by his discovery of old family photographs, and reached international stature with the debut of his Bloodlines-Big Family series at the 1995 Venice Biennale. He has continued to explore issues of family, history, individualism, and Chinese life after the Cultural Revolution in his work, focusing most recently on themes of memory and interior spaces. Zhang has held solo exhibitions around the world, and currently lives and works in Beijing.

Timeline

1958
Born: in Kunming, Yunnan Province
1992
Graduated from Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, Chongqing
Lives and works in Beijing, China

Exhibitions

2013
Voyage and Awakening - FAAM - Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka
2012
Future Pass - National Taiwan Museum of Art, Taichung
2012
39 Steps up the Corridor - Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong, SAR
2012
Future Pass World Exhibition - Today Art Museum, Beijing
2011
Future Pass - Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam
Burning, Bright: A Short History of the Light Bulb - The Pace Gallery - 545 West 22nd Street, New York City, NY
Rising - 34FineArt, Cape Town
Chapelle vidéo #1 - musée d´art et d´histoire, Saint-Denis
Future Pass-from Asia to the World - Collateral event of the 54th Venice Biennale - Abbazia di San Gregorio, Venice
Portal: Contemporary Chinese Paintings, Prints, Photographs and Sculpture, ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries, Coral Gables (Miami), FL
2010
16:9 - Zhang Xiaogang - Today Art Museum, Beijing (solo)
"Beijing-Havana - New Revolution art Contemporary Art ",National Art Museum of Cuba, Havana, Cuba
"Reshaping History - Chinart from 2000 to 2009",China National Convention Center, Beijing, China
"Clouds - Power of Asian Contemporary Art", Soka Art Center, Beijing, China
"The Offical Opening of Minsheng Art Museum Thirsty Years of Chinese Contemporary Art", Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai
Recycling of the classic - limited edition art famous Carnival - Gallery Yang, Beijing
Behind the Mask - The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, West Midlands (England)
Clouds:Power of Asian Contemporary Art - Soka Art Center - Beijing, Beijing
Thirty Years of Chinese Contemporary Art - Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai
2009
19 Games-A Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, T Art Centre, Beijing, China
A Gift to Marco Polo, Venice International University, Venice, Italy
Zhang Xiaogang: The Records, Pace Beijing, China
The History of Self-reflection, Yunnan Provincial Museum, China
Zhang Xiaogang: Shadow in the Soul, Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland Australia (solo)
Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
INAMANIA exhibition, Akon Museum of Art, Copenhagen, Denmark
2008
Writing on the Wall: Chinese New Realism and Avant-Garde in Eighties and Nineties, Groningen Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands
Case Studies of Artists in Art History and Art Criticism, SZ Art Center, Beijing, China
Our Future: The Guy & Myriam Ullens Foundation Collection, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
Revision, Pace Wildenstein, New York, NY (solo)
Avant-Garde China: Twenty Years of Chinese Contemporary Art, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Facing the Reality: Chinese Contemporary Art, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
2007
From Southeast, Guangdong Museum of Fine Art, Guangzhou, China
From New Figurative Image to New Painting, Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
Black White Gray – A Conscious Cultural Stance, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
Zhang Xiaogang, Sara Hilden Art Museum, Tampere, Finland
Facing Reality exhibition, National Art Museum of China at Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludvig in Vienna, Austria
85 New Wave: The Birth of Chinese Contemporary Art at UCCA Beijing, Beijing, China
2006
Home, Solo Show, Beijing Commune, Beijing, China (solo)
Amnesia and Memory, Gallery Artside, Seoul, South Korea
The Blossoming of Realism – The Oil Painting from Mainland China since 1978, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, China
China Now: Fascination of a Changing World, SAMMLUNG ESSL Museum, Vienna, Austria
Reinventing Books in Chinese Contemporary Art, China Institute, New York, NY
Jiang Hu – Chinese Contemporary Art European and American Traveling Exhibition, Tilton Gallery, New York, NY
Food and Desire, South Silk Restaurant, Beijing, China
Zhang Xiaogang Exhibition, The Art Centre of Tokyo, Japan (solo)
2005
The Game of Realism, Beijing Commune, Beijing, China
Zhang Xiaogang 2005, Max Protetch Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2004
Umbilical Cord of History, Paintings by Zhang Xiaogang, Hong Kong Art Center, Hong Kong, China
China, the Body Everywhere?, Museum of Contemporary Art Marseilles, Marseilles, France
Shanghai Biennial, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China
2003
From China with Art, National Gallery Jakarta, Indonesian
Forget and Remember, Gallery of France, Paris, France
2002
The First Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Art Museum, China
Babel 2002, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea
2001
Hot Pot-Chinese Contemporary Art, Artist Center of Oslo, Norway
The III Mercosul Bienal, Porto Alegre, Brazil
2000
MAN + SPACE, Kwangju Biennale 2000 Kwangju, Korea
Messengers of the Heart, Centre de l'art contemporain de lycée X. Bernard Rouillé, France
Zhang Xiaogang 2000, Gallery of Max Protetch, New York, NY
1999
"Inside Out: New Chinese Art", Asia Society and P.S.1. Contemporary Art Center, New York, NY / Modern Art Museum of San Francisco, CA
New Modernisme for a New Millenium: Works by Contemporary Asian Artists from the Logan Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and LIMN Galler San Francisco, CA
Les Camarades, Galerie de France Paris
1998
China New Art, Helsinki Art Museum Helsinki, Finland
Bloodline: The Big Family 1998, Hanart Gallery, Taipei, China (solo)
1997
The Faces and Bodies from Middle Kingdom, Prague Art Museum Prague, Czech Republic
Bloodline: The Big Family, Gallery of The Central Academy of Fine Arts Beijing, Beijing, China
1995
Venice Biennal, Venice, Italy
1993
China's New Art, Post - 1989, Hong Kong Art Center Hong Kong
1992
Documents of China Contemporary Art Show, travelling exhib, Beijing, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Shenyang, Shanghai
1991
I Don't Want to Play Cards with Cézanne and Other Works, Selection from t, Pacific Asia Museum Pasadena, CA
1989
China/Avant-Garde, National Art Gallery Beijing, Beijing, China
Lost Dreams, Gallery of the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, Chongqing, China (solo)

Literature

2007
China Art Book. Uta Grosenick / Caspar Schübbe (Ed.), 680 pages, approx. 850 images, trilingual: Engl./Ger./Chin., Dumont Buchverlag, Cologne 2007. www.chinaartbook.de