Zhang Jianjun (b.1955, Shanghai) is an abstract artist preoccupied by the themes of existence, time, space, and transformation, and their effects on individuals and culture. He began to pursue abstract painting in the 1980s, with the Chinese ink and mixed media paintings from his 1985 Existence series typifying the 'rationalistic painting' of the Chinese avant-garde movement. He gained recognition for the oil painting Human Beings with Their Clock (1986), depicting human confrontation with the limitations of existence within the space and time continuum. Zhang furthered his studies in the United States in the 1990s and has since shifted his focus to installation art and an exploration of cultural differences between East and West. This work from his elemental ink series experiments with Chinese ink and the elements of fire, water and wood (rice paper). As an ink painter, ink could arguably constitute the fourth element of air, as the life (breath) of an artist is inextricably linked to his practice.Read More
Zhang graduated from the Shanghai Theatre Academy's Department of Fine Arts in 1978 and received the ACC Visual Arts Fellowship in 1987. Currently, Zhang is a professor at New York University and divides his time between Shanghai and the US. Zhang Jianjun has held solo exhibitions in New York, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and China, including at the Shanghai Art Museum, Harvard University, Guangdong Museum of Art, and Pace Prints in New York. Group exhibitions include Ink Worlds at the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University (2018); Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China (2013), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Flowing River: 30 Years of Chinese Oil Painting (2005), National Art Museum of China, Beijing; International Arts Festival Dusseldorf (1995); and '83 Experimental Painting Exhibition (1983), Fudan University, Shanghai. His work is included in major collections such as the Brooklyn Museum, New York; San Francisco Asian Art Museum, California; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; Guangdong Museum of Art, China; Shanghai Art Museum, China; and Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China.
Text courtesy Alisan Fine Arts.
Pearl Lam Galleries brings together 30 years of musings on moisture from Shanghai artist Zhang Jian-Jun in the new exhibition Water • Quintessence. His first solo show in his hometown for 30 years to feature current work, the exhibition includes works in oil and ink alongside mixed-media pieces, sculptures, and items from the...