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Zhang Huan: Family Tree, 2001.

Shanghai / New York


Zhang Huan (born in 1965, China) is a conceptual visual artist, renowned for his performance works, photographs and sculptures. He has had numerous gallery and museum exhibitions all over the world with prominent works such as My New York (2002), Three Heads Six Arms (2008) and 12 Square Meters (1994). His works are inspired by both political and spiritual messages. As a result, his installations are often brought him into loggerheads with the Chinese authorities, but it is his willingness to push boundaries with his artistic expression that has made him so successful. 

He draws parallels from his own and China’s past to create unlike performance scenarios. The layers of ideas the artist explores in his art are conceived as existential explorations and social commentaries. Family Tree is a performance piece containing nine chromogenic prints. Three calligraphers wrote a combination of names known to Zhang Huan, personal stories, traditional tales and random thoughts on his face. The written text on his face would follow the daylight turning slowly into the darkness of the night. His identity slowly blurs and disappears through the story and thoughts. The photographical series becomes a symbol on how a mysterious fate surrounds our human existence which we can do nothing about, nothing to control the outcome, it will just happened. 

Tofu Collective feels very proud, touched by and blessed to present Zhang Huan as part of our online exhibition series. 

Edited by Nichlas E. Kofoed