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Yang Zhenzhong Biography

The desire to challenge normative notions of social behavior informs the practices of Yang Zhenzhong's work. He is preoccupied with China’s intrinsic disharmony and extreme discrepancies and often touches upon taboos such as death and out-dated social norms. His approach is metaphorical rather than narrative. His videos often start from witty ideas, employing image repetition and rhythmic coordination of sound, language and image. Yang Zhenzhong became famous in 2000 with his video (I Know) I Will Die that features short sequences in which a series of different people speak the phrase "I will die" to the camera. It is a disconcerting, soberly presented film that confronts viewers with existential questions. Yang Zhenzhong recognizes that individual participation is the starting point for a transformation of perception. The video 922 Grains of Rice plays with the interaction of the image of a cock and a chicken pecking grains of rice and the sound of a male and a female voice counting the number of pecked grains. It is a humorous representation of the battle of sexes as well a comment on today’s competitive behavior.

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Let's Puff (4th Shanghai Biennale, 50th Venice Biennial – Zone of Urgency) similarly starts from the interplay of two images: a young woman puffing and a busy street. Every time the woman breathes, the image of the street moves away from the viewer. The rhythm of the traffic and the angle of perception are altered with the rhythm of the woman's breath. Yang Zhenzhong's playful videos are more than visual reflections; they are intelligent comments on the design of contemporary society. In a series of photos entitled Light and Easy, he perceives the weight of urban changes as an exterior phenomenon, and literally depicts the process as a weightless factor, turning urban landmarks upside down. Light and Easy is based upon a conviction that the lightness of the isolated exterior or interior is a source of interesting material. The successful experiments the artist has executed to formulate connections are exciting, sincere and disturbing.

Born in Xiaoshan in 1968, Yang Zhenzhong now lives and works in Shanghai. He graduated from the Oil Painting Department of the China Fine Arts Academy in Hangzhou in 1993 and began working with video and photography in 1995. Yang Zhenzhong's work has been showed at nearly all major biennales and triennials including Venice (2003/2007), Shanghai (2002), Guangzhou (2002) and Gwangju (2002).

Yang Zhenzhong, Exposure H (2020). Bluestone. 80 x 120 x 40 cm. Courtesy Rén Space, Shanghai. 

Yang Zhenzhong Featured Artworks

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Exposure H by Yang Zhenzhong contemporary artwork
Yang ZhenzhongExposure H, 2020Bluestone
80 x 120 x 40 cm
Rén Space Contact Gallery
Extras No. 1 临时演员 No.1 by Yang Zhenzhong contemporary artwork
Yang ZhenzhongExtras No. 1 临时演员 No.1, 2010Photograph
100 x 100 cm
ShanghART Contact Gallery
Surveillance and Panorama #1 by Yang Zhenzhong contemporary artwork
Yang ZhenzhongSurveillance and Panorama #1, 2018Oil on canvas
128.5 x 150 cm
Tang Contemporary Art Contact Gallery
Surveillance and Panorama #2 by Yang Zhenzhong contemporary artwork
Yang ZhenzhongSurveillance and Panorama #2, 2018Oil on canvas
150 x 50 cm
Tang Contemporary Art Contact Gallery
Passage No. 16 by Yang Zhenzhong contemporary artwork
Yang ZhenzhongPassage No. 16, 2015Acrylic on canvas, installation
217 x 155 x 155 cm
ShanghART Contact Gallery
Fish Bowl by Yang Zhenzhong contemporary artwork
Yang ZhenzhongFish Bowl, 1996Single-channel video installation, three monitors, a video machine, a concave glass fish bowl, iron
ShanghART Contact Gallery
Passage No.15 by Yang Zhenzhong contemporary artwork
Yang ZhenzhongPassage No.15, 2014Car paint on 2mm Stainless Steel
100 x 73.5 x 17 cm
ShanghART Contact Gallery

Yang Zhenzhong Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Yang Zhenzhong, EXPOSURE | 现形 at Rén Space, Shanghai
Open Now
1 November 2020–21 February 2021 Yang Zhenzhong EXPOSURE | 现形 Rén SpaceShanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Buffering at Rén Space, Shanghai
Closed
15 August–30 September 2020 Group Exhibition Buffering Rén SpaceShanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Cache: From B to Z at ShanghART, Westbund, Shanghai
Closed
12 April–30 August 2020 Group Exhibition Cache: From B to Z ShanghARTWestbund, Shanghai

Yang Zhenzhong Represented By

Rén Space contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China Rén Space Shanghai
ShanghART contemporary art gallery in Singapore ShanghART Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore

Yang Zhenzhong In Ocula Magazine

Shanghai Art Week: Exhibitions to See Ocula Feature Shanghai Art Week: Exhibitions to See By Tessa Moldan, Shanghai

With Art021 and West Bund Art & Design taking place in November, we recommend 17 shows to see in Shanghai this winter.

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PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai 2018 Ocula Feature PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai 2018 By Georgina Adam, Shanghai

PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai held its fifth edition between 21 and 23 September 2018. As in previous years, the event was held in the Shanghai Exhibition Center—a neoclassical construction dating from 1955, built in the form of a central hall with two curved wings, topped with an ornate and unmissable 110-metre spire. The building is surprisingly...

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Yang Zhenzhong In Related Press

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At the Shanghai Biennale, a Desire to Disrupt the Status Quo Related Press At the Shanghai Biennale, a Desire to Disrupt the Status Quo 25 January 2017, Hyperallergic

A gigantic metallic structure resembling a crashed airplane beckons from the second level of the vast Shanghai Power Station of Art that is host to the 11th edition of the Shanghai Biennale. Designed by the Chinese collective MouSen+MSG, the structure is titled The Great Chain of Being – Planet Trilogy  (2016), and you can actually venture inside...

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'The Dynamics': Chinese multimedia art at ShanghART in Singapore Related Press 'The Dynamics': Chinese multimedia art at ShanghART in Singapore 16 November 2016, Art Radar Journal

Mention new media art, and the first things which might come to mind are a sense of ephemerality and insubstantiality – the evanescence of artworks which exist, in some sense, as particular arrangements of bits. Not so with The Dynamics, a largely new media-based group exhibition at Singapore’s ShanghART gallery, which places some...

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Germany opens its largest-ever show of modern Chinese art Related Press Germany opens its largest-ever show of modern Chinese art 22 May 2015, Deutsche Welle

There's never before been an exhibition of contemporary Chinese art of this magnitude: Eight cities, nine museums, 120 artists, 500 works. For audiences in Germany, the question is on the tip of their tongues: Just how much influence did Chinese officials play in the making of " China 8," which opens to the public on May 14 and...

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Harmonious Society, Centre For Chinese Contemporary Art Related Press Harmonious Society, Centre For Chinese Contemporary Art 25 November 2014, Aesthetica Magazine / 20 November 2014

A key strand of Asia Triennial Manchester 2014, Harmonious Society is a major exhibition of new commissions and UK premieres featuring over 30 major artists from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Exhibited across six key spaces in Manchester, the project curated by the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art is on view until 23 November. Responding to...

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