Zhang Xiaogang (b. 1958, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China) is recognized for his figurative paintings and sculptures that navigate the cultural terrain of contemporary China and question notions of identity and the construction of memory. When the Cultural Revolution began in 1966, Zhang’s parents were forced to give up their government posts, leave Zhang and his three brothers behind, and go to a “study camp” in the countryside. Following the collapse of the Cultural Revolution in 1976, Zhang was accepted into the prestigious Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts in Chongqing in 1977.
In 1995 Zhang Xiaogang presented his Bloodline: Big Family series in an exhibition entitled The Other Face: Three Chinese Artists as part of the larger international exhibition Identità e Alterità, installed in the Italian Pavilion during the centenary 46th Venice Biennale. Drawn from formal family portraits, the paintings represent both the individual and the faceless masses of China at once. The figures, often dressed in identical Mao suits, have distinctive red blood lines which demonstrate the links between people.
Since 1989, Zhang has been the subject of over two hundred group exhibitions, including Asia–Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Australia (1997); Guangzhou Triennial, China (2002, 2005); Huang Zhuan Memorial Invitational Exhibition, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen (2017); Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2017); and Practice and Exchange, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2018).
Leng Lin and Zhang Xiaogang
2009. Pace Beijing. Paperback
117 pages: 100 illustrations; 12 x 9 ½ inches