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Zhang Xiaogang: Lost

21 March - 4 May



Pace is pleased to present Zhang Xiaogang: Lost, an exhibition of works produced by Zhang Xiaogang over the past three years, at its Hong Kong gallery. Coinciding with Zhang Xiaogang: Mayflies at the Long Museum West Bund, Pace’s exhibition in Hong Kong will spotlight ten new and recent paintings related to the works on view at the Shanghai institution through May 7.

A hugely influential contemporary painter in China, Zhang depicts the absurd but intriguing inner experience of mortals, evoking the original impetus from one’s own life consciousness. In the Light series on display, he painted the patch of light delicately on his meditative and tranquil works, which can be traced to the artist’s Big Family series from the 1990s, and has gradually become the most recognizable feature through various bodies of Zhang’s work. In a departure from the portraiture that established Zhang’s fame, the new experimentation focuses on still life, another classic theme in art history, with a concise but refined composition. Oftentimes in Zhang’s work, inanimate objects seem to possess emotional depth, while his alienated human figures are almost devoid of life.

The exhibition will also include Jump No. 6 (2022), an oil painting on paper, and Jump No. 8 (2022), an oil painting on canvas. These works reflect the artist’s sensitivity and finesse in his approach to different mediums and materials. Jumping figures have been the subjects of Zhang’s works over the past few years. However, the dynamism implied by the titles of these paintings is upended by their content: human figures appear to be suspended in solidified air, impervious to gravity’s pull. This visual phenomenon might be understood in the context of the global pandemic’s effects on time and space. The artist intuits and absorbs his own experiences, creating works of both psychological and physical heft. Through the ancient technique of painting, he weaves the turbulence of contemporary life into the eternal predicament of the human soul in theatrical, absurdist scenes that might be interpreted as poetic fables of the present day.


Zhang Xiaogang (b. 1958, Kunming, China), graduated from the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in oil painting. He now lives and works in Beijing. Since the 90s, Zhang has expressed himself through styles of coldness and restraint and that of daydreams to articulate the collective psychological memory and emotions prominent in his times. This means of absurdly representing and simulating society, the collective, personal, family, blood relation is a reinterpretation of art, emotions, and life. It holds heavy significance in the contemporary world, and is the best manifestation of the sense of worldliness in China in contemporary art. His works have been exhibited in the Venice Biennale, Sao Paulo Biennale (awarded the Sao Paulo Biennale Bronze Prize, 1994), Guangju Biennale, Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Shanghai Biennale, and other important exhibitions within and outside of the country. He has also exhibited in many important organizations and museums over the world. His works have been collected by the Tate, Centre Pompidou, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Tokushima Modern Art Museum, Fukuoka Art Museum, Shanghai Art Museum, Long Museum of Shanghai, and various institutional and private collections within and outside of the country.


21 March
4 May
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