Zhang Yu was born in Tianjin, China in 1959 and graduated from the Tianjin Academy of Arts and Crafts in 1988. Throughout his artistic career he has been engaged with the language of art and experimental ink painting, contributing to and reforming the discursive boundaries of ink art. His early series, Divine Light, became internationally recognized when they were included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition, Ink Art: Past As Present in Contemporary China, in 2013. The artist is also well-known for his Fingerprint and installation works, which have been exhibited in major exhibitions in China, Taiwan, Europe and America.Read More
His works have been collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong; Benetton Museum, Venice, Italy; Chengdu Modern Art Museum, Chengdu, China; National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; Chinese Culture Center, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Text courtesy Alisan Fine Arts.
Imprinted with a wealth of cultural histories and associations with the Chinese dynastic period, the genre of contemporary ink art has stayed, peculiarly, undervalued. Fortunately, and deservedly, more new and experimental approaches to the medium have been cast into the spotlight as of late.
Blake Carter: Over the last 28 years, your work has evolved from the figurative Fan Painting (1986–89) and Portrait (1989–92) series to abstract paintings and collages in the "Divine Light" (1994–2003) and Morning Post (2001-2003) series, and now you've been focusing on your Fingerprints series since 2001. Could you describe this...
Zhang Yu discusses his works Divine Light Series No. 59, The Floating Incomplete Circle (1998) and Divine Light Series: 2000–8 (2000) as part of the artist interview series conducted for the special exhibition Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China.
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