By dismembering the existence of everyday life, Zhan engages in a cleansing process of expression and description. The remaining petty elements found in Zhan’s paintings are systemised, and a space for the self is found; for example, attempts to return the changes of the weather, which once offered boundless material for the poetic imagination, to the status of shriveled geometric figures by keeping daily emotionless records and portrayals. Ultimately, the original poetry is transformed into hand-drawn pixels and cold abstraction. The artist never indulges in the use of varied forms to elucidate those elements of life that the self cannot master, but rather uses monotonous graphics to record nature or society, cautiously marking the changes and demarcations of the manifold things of this world—a category that includes the artist himself.

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