Inspired by family photos from the Cultural Revolution, as well as European surrealism, Zhang’s body of work questions mass psychology in China from the mid-20th century onwards. His inspiration is gathered from the idea of family, whether it be personal or national, as he depicts an endless genealogy in predominantly monochromatic shades. Zhang’s painting style wavers between exaggerated cartoons and stoic flatness, while incorporating the visuals of traditional Chinese charcoal drawings. In the Amnesia and Memory series, dream-like bodily proportions heightens the feeling of regulated claustrophobia and initiates a deeper narrative reading.
Xiaogang Zhang was born in 1958 in China. He attended the Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts in 1982. He has participated in exhibitions, both solo and group, since 1989 in galleries and museums such as the Akon Museum of Art (Copenhagen, Denmark), National Museum of Art (Beijing), Taipei Fine Arts Museum (Taipei, Taiwan), SAMMLUNG ESSL MUSEUM (Vienna, Austria), National Museum of Contemporary Art (Seoul), and the Prague Art Museum (Prague, Czech Republic) amongst many others. His work is included in nearly twenty public collections around the USA, Japan, China, Korea, France, Australia, and Austria. Zhang currently lives and works in Beijing.