Zhang Huan with incense
Zhang Huan (Chinese: 張洹, born 1965 in Anyang, Henan Province, China) is a Chinese artist based in Shanghai and New York. He made his BA at the He Nan University in Kai Feng (1988) and his MA at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing (1993). He is primarily a performance artist but also makes photographs and sculpture.
“Zhang Huan began his work as part of a small artistic community, known as the Beijing East Village, located on the margins of the city. The group of friends from art school pioneered this particular brand of performance in China and Zhang was often reprimanded by officials for the perceived inappropriateness of his actions.”
“Zhang involves the body in his sculptures as well. He makes giant copper hands and feet, magnified versions of fragments of broken Buddhist figures that he found in Tibet.”
Zhang Huan’s Ash
“Zhang Huan’s most iconic installations and paintings are made from Ash collected from Buddhist temples.”
32 foot tall sculpture of Confucius by Zhang Huan
Two Ash Officers at entrance of UCCA
Zhang Huan’s most iconic installations and paintings are made from Ash collected from Buddhist temples.
This massive installation Hope Tunnel takes center stage in the UCCA’s main exhibition hall.
Freight train no. 21043 collided with a massive boulder when it went through tunnel no. 109 on the Baoji–Chengdu railway during the Earthquake. Zhang Huan got in touch with the salvage company and bought the train.
When we behold the train that Zhang Huan purchased, refurbished and installed here, we may find ourselves dwarfed by the scale of the wreckage, dismayed by the destructive force of nature and daunted by the challenges that lie ahead. Perhaps we should feel humbled by the shadow of that awesome bulk, but as the title reminds us, while we may be small, we are not powerless. Through remembrance, reflection and concerted action, each one of us has the power to help—and to hope.
Jérôme Sans, UCCA Director