The Art of Zhang Huan
Zhang Huan is a Chinese artist from the southeast province of Henan. Studying from many different Chinese art styles, Zhang Huan portrays has presented his art in a variety of unique and different methods. Many of his works usually include the human body in many masochistic or emotionally moving positions. Many may consider Zhang Huan’s style strange and demeaning, especially to the Chinese art culture and society which follows very traditional standards.
Starting from the beginning of his art career, Zhang strayed from the traditional Chinese brush painting and calligraphy. He was highly influenced by his resentment towards the Chinese Communistic government and the influence of Western arts. Since growing his name Zhang has worked with a variety of art forms including sculpting, performing art, and oil painting. Some of his most well known works are his performance arts which included: “To Raise the Water Level in a Fishpond, 12 Square Meters, 65 Kilograms, and To Add One Meter to an Anonymous Mountain.” Many of these performance arts were self abusive, something Zhang has since left behind the new direction he has taken with his take of art.
Growing up, Zhang lived and survived throughout many different rough and rural areas throughout China, possibly showcasing the meaning behind his individual artistic style. Zhang eventually took his artistic skills to New York where he put on different galleries and exhibitions. Since his stay in New York, he has found a strong following for his work and has even appeared on the art/leisure section of the New York Times. After staying in New York for eight years, Zhang moved back to Shanghai where he started his own studio. He has since begun working on Buddhist sculptures, bringing new ideas and styles to the usual tradition of Buddhist statues. Zhang recently commissioned a piece for the San Francisco Civic Center where it still stands today.