Art Projects International


Zhang Jian-Jun, Nature C, 1987, ink on paper, 90 x 150 inches (installation view)

Zhang Jian-Jun, Nothingness, Water, Fire, Wind, Earth, 1997, ink on paper, 54 x 135 inches  (installation view)

Installation view of Jian-Jun Zhang: Nature at Art Projects International, New York, 2014.

Zhang Jian-Jun, Water-Water, 2002, ink on rice paper, diptych, 26 3/4 x 26 3/4 inches (67.9 x 67.9 cm) each

Zhang Jian-Jun, Water-Weeds, 2002, ink on rice paper, diptych, 26 3/4 x 26 3/4 inches (67.9 x 67.9 cm) each

Zhang Jian-Jun, Fish-Water, 2002, ink on rice paper, diptych, 26 3/4 x 26 3/4 inches (67.9 x 67.9 cm) each

Art Projects International is pleased to announce the opening of Nature, a solo exhibition of ink works on paper by Jian-Jun Zhang. This exhibition marks the artist’s fifth solo show with the gallery and brings together a special selection of Zhang’s ink drawings created from 1987 to 2005. Ink has often figured in many of Zhang’s works whether creating large installations, photography, or intimate drawings on paper.

A constant in Zhang’s work over the past 30 years, ink drawings are a substantial and significant part of his practice. Among these signature works on view, Nature C, a twelve-foot wide, four-panel work, is a rare example of Zhang’s early ink work on paper. Inspired by his memory of living near the river in Shanghai, Nature C was part of Zhang’s four Nature works that were first presented in his solo exhibition at the Shanghai Art Museum in 1987, a tumultuous decade for artists in China and pivotal for Zhang in particular.

“Since my childhood, living near the river in Shanghai, water and the rhythm of water have influenced my work. I have always kept fish tanks in the city environment. There is an analogy between the way the goldfish change the dynamic of water, and art objects change the structure of space.”

JIAN-JUN ZHANG, born 1955 in Shanghai, China, lives and works in Shanghai. In 1983, he participated in ’83 Experimental Painting at Fudan University in Shanghai and the exhibition was shut down a half day later. Zhang continued to exhibit his work widely and in 1987, his solo exhibition Nature was presented at the Shanghai Art Museum. That autumn in 1987, Zhang received a fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council to visit the United States. After his return to Shanghai, he participated in “China/Avant-Garde” at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing in 1989. Zhang left China to move to New York City in 1989 after the Tiananmen Square incident. Since 2007, Zhang has been living and working in Shanghai.

Recent museum exhibitions: Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2013-14; Portrait of the Times: 30 Years of Chinese Contemporary Art, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, 2013; Shanshui, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland, 2011; and Chinese Window: Contemporary Art from the Sigg Collection, Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland, 2010-11. Zhang’s work is represented in major public and corporate collections such as the Uli Sigg Collection, Switzerland; M+, Hong Kong; Frederick R. Weisman Foundation of Art, CA; Djerassi Foundation Permanent Collection, CA; Shanghai Art Museum, China; Shenzhen Art Institute, China; Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China; JP Morgan, Hong Kong; Genentech, CA; White Rabbit Collection, Sydney, Australia; and many others.

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