'Pure and clean is the lotus, Each petal supports hundreds of millions of worlds. Carried by prayer wheels that spin day and night, They grow out of the Xiang Ocean and expand endlessly.'
– The Praise of Painting on Vairocana's Akanistha Ghanavyuha by Yuxi Liu
Pace is pleased to present an exhibition of four paintings by Zhang Huan at its East Hampton gallery from September 2 to 19. The show, titled Living towards Nothingness, will feature works from Zhang's celebrated 'Ash Painting' series, which the artist began in 2005 as part of his explorations of ephemerality. Drawn from a body of 30 paintings featuring semi-abstracted depictions of the sea rendered in incense ash on linen, this grouping includes works from 2011 and 2012.
Zhang, who has collected ashes from temples in Shanghai and nearby provinces and maintains a warehouse for the material, has said that 'incense burning awakens the spiritual impulse embedded deeply in our subconscious.' In Zhang's belief, incense ash 'speaks to the fulfilment of millions of hopes, dreams, and blessings' and serves as a material embodiment of prayers and their makers. The series is deeply engaged with the artist's Buddhist practice, and he uses different tones, gradients, and textures of ash to forge his contemplative works. The artist presented a selection of 'Ash Paintings' at his 2020 survey at the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. With that exhibition, Zhang became the first Chinese contemporary artist to have a solo exhibition at the Russian institution.
Press release courtesy Pace Gallery.