Zhang Huan is a one of my favorite artists, and now it is too famous as the leading figure of the Contemporary Chinese Artist today, and especially famous as one of the founder who established the "Beijing East Village." -a group of young Chinese artists in Beijing. In this community Zhang developed some of his early performance practices and many of the works conceived as both existential explorations and social commentary, that brought him international attention. His performances of 12 Square Meters, or the Add One Meter to an Anonymous Mountain, are now considered the artist;s first iconic works. The "ash" soon became the medium for both his paintings and sculpture. for him, all the dreams, aspirations, all the spiritual longings, all the ideas that people have are infused into the ash. it is the collective spirit and collective thinking, and collection wishes of the people in China. and here is the artist's recent works, which I am eager to see it.
A two-venue exhibition of the Chinese artist’s new work on view at PaceWildenstein 25th and 22nd Streets May 9 - July 25, 2008 Canal Building, a new large-scale work, will be completed during the first weekend of the exhibition, allowing the public to see the artist’s working methods. A painting of Chinese laborers made entirely of grains of ash from burned temple incense, will be created on site by the artist and his studio assistants in advance of the opening and during the first few days of the exhibition. The image, based on a vintage photograph, of workers digging a canal will completely cover the top face of an enormous slab of compressed ash. Measuring 5’ 11" high x 19’ 8" wide x 59’ 1" in length, the proportions of the slab will only allow the image to be viewed from scaffolding which will be erected alongside the piece. In his essay, Kunitz likens this process to Zhang Huan’s earlier performance pieces which first brought him renown in China and the West. Kunitz states that with this installation, Canal Building, the artist has come full circle. Zhang describes the work as representing who I am as an artist. It is indeed a unification of who he is and has been as an artist; a unification of artistic modes; a concretization—in painting and sculpture—of a lifetime's performance. Simultaneously at 534 West 25th Street, Giant No. 3 (2008), a colossal 15'figure made from cowhides, steel, wood, and polystyrene foam will be on view.