Zhang Painting “Chapter of a New Century – Birth of the People’s Republic of China II” Recently Sold In Hong Kong For $6.7 million USD
Running through December 26 at the Today Art Museum in Beijing, Zhang Xiaogang’s new exhibition, “16:9,” organized in cooperation with Pace Beijing and sponsored by the art-loving cognac house Martell, features new work never before displayed by the artist. Best known for his “Bloodline” series of oil paintings, Zhang, like other top Chinese contemporary artists like Zeng Fanzhi, has increasingly tried his hand at sculpture and mixed media in recent exhibitions, most notably last year’s “The Records” at Pace Beijing.
In many ways, “16:9” — named after the standard video broadcast ratio — is a natural extension of last year’s “Records” exhibition, with Zhang continuing to explore a variety of media, from sculpture to installation. As Leng Lin writes in the exhibition profile (translation from original Chinese):
16:9 is now the most popular screen ratio for movies, computers and TVs, most commonly known as “wide-screen” format. 16:9 is the way we see the world today, the visual angle and position, and we increasingly rely on this ratio to shape the way we perceive the world. Zhang Xiaogang targets this format, incorporating his memory, reality and experience.
We’re currently experiencing the unprecedented rapid development of Chinese society, unlike any other age in Chinese history. Reality and history are being shaped quickly, and at the same time — because of this speed — reality and history are clearly too superficial and fleeting.
In this exhibition, we can examine this fleeting nature of reality. By illustrating his attempt to grasp and pin down reality and history, despite life always being in a state of flux (symbolized by railroads and medicine bottles), Zhang Xiaogang seems to want to secure a sense of hope, even if this hope emerges from the shadows of history or memory.
Today Art Museum (今日美术馆)
Pingod community, No.32 Baiziwan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing (北京市朝阳区百子湾路32号苹果社区)