You must first login or register to follow this artist.

Zhang Jianjun Biography

Zhang Jian-Jun was born in 1955 in Shanghai. He graduated from the Shanghai Theatre Academy's Department of Fine Arts in 1978 and moved to the United States in 1989. Currently, Zhang is a professor at New York University Shanghai. He lives and works in both Shanghai and New York City.

Read More

Zhang began to pursue abstract painting in the 1980s. He expresses his personal perspective on humankind and the universe through the integrity of language and constantly explores the existence of the ontological status. His work displays a great sense of belief and understanding of Oriental style.

Zhang's Existence series typifies 'rationalistic painting,' a movement of Chinese avant-garde art that appears after 1985. 'Rationalistic painting' is also a branch of Yi Pai, where artists employ squares, circles, dots, and lines from traditional Chinese ink painting to depict the existence of the relationship between the material and universe. 'Rational' refers to concept and contemplation. The artists use loose and reserved brushstrokes to illustrate Oriental cosmology and existentialism. In 1986, Zhang Jian-Jun created his oil painting Humankind and Their Clocks, in which he painted people from different races staring at the universe with implications of humankind being confused by the immensity of space-time. This painting has greatly impacted many of his contemporaries. Zhang furthered his studies in the United States in the 1990s and has since shifted his focus to installation art. Much of his work tries to explore the complicated relationships between different cultures, essentially between traditional Oriental and contemporary culture.

The artist's 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.

Zhang Jian-Jun 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 Myth/History II: Shanghai, 1980s: Jian-Jun Zhang's Artwork (1978–88) (2015), Yuz Museum, Shanghai; Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China (2013), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Wu Ming, Form is Formless: Chinese Contemporary Abstract Art (2011), Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai; Yi Pai: Thirty Years of Chinese Abstract Art (2008), Madrid; Flowing River: 30 Years of Chinese Oil Painting (2005), National Art Museum of China, Beijing; International Arts Festival Dusseldorf (1995); China Modern Art Exhibition (1989), Beijing; and '83 Experimental Painting Exhibition (1983), Fudan University, Shanghai.

Zhang received an Asian Cultural Council Fellowship, two Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grants, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and more. He was Assistant Director and Head of the Curatorial Department of the Shanghai Art Museum (1986–89) and has participated in the International Curatorial Program at MoMA in New York.

Selected publications include the retrospective catalogues Water: Zhang Jian-Jun and Zhang Jian-Jun: Vestiges of a Process, as well as Contemporary Brush Strokes: New York Artists from China. Zhang's works have also appeared in art history books, including Chinese Contemporary Art History and Chinese Painting: 250 Years. His art has been covered in ARTnews, Art in America, Art Forum, Asia-Pacific Art, The New York Times, and many other international publications.

Zhang Jianjun
featured artworks

First Drop of Water Series 2019 #9 by Zhang Jianjun contemporary artwork painting
Zhang Jianjun First Drop of Water Series 2019 #9, 2019 Chinese ink, oil paint, acrylic, rice paper on canvas
94 x 178 cm
Sold
Alisan Fine Arts

Represented by this
Ocula Member Gallery

Pearl Lam Galleries contemporary art gallery in Pedder Street, Hong Kong
Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong, Shanghai
Learn more about the market for works
by Zhang Jianjun.
Enquire for a confidential discussion. Enquire Now
Simon Fisher, Ocula CEO
Ocula Advisor
Simon Fisher
Christoper Taylor, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Christopher Taylor
Eva Fuchs, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Eva Fuchs
Rory Mitchell, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Rory Mitchell
Ocula discover the best in contemporary art icon.
Follow Zhang Jianjun
Stay ahead.
Receive updates on new artworks,
exhibitions and articles.
Your personal data is held in accordance with our privacy policy.
Follow
Do you have an Ocula account?
Ocula discover the best in contemporary art icon.
Get Access
Join Ocula to request price and availability of artworks, exhibition price lists and build a collection of favourite artists, galleries and artworks.
Do you have an Ocula account? Login
What best describes your interest in art?

Subscribe to our newsletter for upcoming exhibitions, available works, events and more.
By clicking Sign Up or Continue with Facebook or Google, you agree to Ocula's Terms & Conditions. Your personal data is held in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
Thank you for joining us. Just one more thing...
Soon you will receive an email asking you to complete registration. If you do not receive it then you can check and edit the email address you entered.
Close
Thank you for joining us.
You can now request price and availability of artworks, exhibition price lists and build a collection of favourite artists, galleries and artworks.
Close
Welcome back to Ocula
Enter your email address and password below to login.
Reset Password
Enter your email address to receive a password reset link.
Reset Link Sent
We have sent you an email containing a link to reset your password. Simply click the link and enter your new password to complete this process.
Login