Zhang Hui

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“Two people want to go skiing, but it has been a warm winter and it still hasn’t snowed yet. So the two of them rent a snow cannon, they let it blow for two days and two nights when it has finally accumulated enough snow. They are in the middle of getting equipped, getting ready to descend the slope when it suddenly starts to snow. What I want to express is this moment at which reality and unreality intertwine”

–Zhang Hui



Zhang Hui was born in 1967 in Heilongjiang Province, he graduated in 1991 from the Central Academy of Drama and currently lives and works in Beijing. He is an important member of the post-sensibility group active in the late 1990s early 2000s in the Chinese contemporary art world, after which in 2004 he founded the Odd Phenomena Group. In his early explorations, Zhan Hui developed an artistic creativity focused on action and installation, which his later practice centering on explorations into multimedia theatrical performance. Beginning with the solo-show “In These Parts” at Long March Space in 2006, Zhang Hui’s concentration has shifted to a painting practice. His works conceal eminently readable and bewitching theatricality within them, simultaneously profoundly rethinking the truth and uniqueness of known reality, striving to expand the structure behind real events and their images.


Zhang Hui searches for the space where reality and the subconscious, the normal and the abnormal interact. In his recent work, Zhang continues his performative exploration of duration and its relationship to ideas of time and space through an investigation of painting. Zhang’s subjects move from the rituals of banality which are anchored in everyday life, to the quest for an alternative dimension – two primary components of this artist’s evocative dramas. His gestural surfaces scale the human on a spiritual and psychological level, employing elements of the theatrical (through color and scale) to create a dreamscape whereby his subject’s vulnerability is exposed to the viewer, floating amid the landscape.