Zhang Xiaogang | the artist
The artist Zhang Xiaogang
Born 1958, Kunming, Yunnan province, China.
Lives and works in Beijing, .
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Zhang creates a sense of nostalgia in his compositions by utilising the conventions of the traditional Chinese photographer. Like his photographic predecessors, he uses dramatic lighting effects and flat anonymous backgrounds to idealise his subjects. In this work, the figures are painted with a smooth pearly finish reminiscent of porcelain, but are lacking in emotion and turn detached faces to the world…
n his paintings the artist captures the superficial homogeneity of the collectivity through the smooth, unblemished faces and evenly staring eyes – touched up as they would have been in the photographers’ studio. Small idiosyncrasies, one crossed eye, glasses, a mole, imperfect teeth or a wisp of hair gone astray, reveal individual differences. As Zhang Xiaogang says we live in a big family, the first thing we learn is how to shut ourselves up in a secret small cell and pretend to keep step with all the other members of the Family…
zhang xiaogang: essay
Between Reality and Illusion