Zhang Xiaogang

Zhang Xiaogang is a figurative painter from China, known for investigating the concept of ‘family’ and notions of identity in China. His eerie portraits are often painted in greyscale and border the line between animation and traditionalism, using his portraiture to question the notions of memory and family dynamics. Read more

Xiaogang’s work is inspired by traditional family photos and the European Surrealist movement, using these influences in his own artwork to portray themes of otherness within his own Asian culture. We love how Xiaogang’s figures are generic and nameless, allowing the viewer to transpose their own ideas of the family unit onto Xiaogang’s subjects.

Xiaogang’s childhood was shaped by the Cultural Revolution in 1966, when the artist’s parents were forced to leave their government positions and join a “study camp” in the country. This left Xiaogang and his three brothers alone. After the collapse of the Cultural revolution a decade later, Xiaogang was accepted into the Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts in Chongqing. His career excelled from there and his work has now been featured in more than 200 group exhibitions such as the Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World exhibition in 2017 at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Practice and Exchange exhibition at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing in 2018, and the Guangzhou Triennial in China in 2002 and 2005.

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