In the Words of the Artist: Zhang Jian-Jun at the Royal Academy of Arts, London

In front of the entrance to the Royal Academy of Arts at Burlington House.
Details of the on-going project Human Traces.
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CoBo Social Chinese Abstraction Series

Through my career, my work has always combined the inner listening to the universe, and looking at human beings, combining nature/society/people as one. Therefore, sometimes my work is a spiritual dialog with nature, as well as focusing on human beings’ civilization.

In this project, titled Human Traces, I am focusing on humanity, and am concerned with human beings and their possibility of being together beyond cultural differences, beyond the crash of civilizations.

In London different people live together from all over the world. At the Royal Academy of Arts, I will create an “archeology” site, the images will focus on human beings from the past to present. I have included portraits from the people in London, young and old, woman and man, from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, people from other places, and some statutes from the RA site. Also, I have three questions for each of the participants:

1: What is the happiest experience in your life?
2: What is the saddest experience in your life?
3: What do you want to say to people 100 years in the future?

I am recording each participant’s answer; their voices will play from small speakers in the exhibition with the portraits.

This work will be in Chinese ink and charcoal on paper and directly on the wall. Part of these portraits (the ones on the wall) will disappear, they will be existing in memory as well as the sound.

 

In front of the entrance to the Royal Academy of Arts at Burlington House.
Details of the on-going project Human Traces.

 

 

About the artist

Zhang Jian-Jun was born in 1955 in Shanghai. In 1978, Zhang graduated from the Fine Arts Department of the Shanghai Theatre Academy. In 1987-88, Zhang was supported by the Asian Cultural Council of the Rockefeller Foundation in New York to go to the US to do research and to create new artworks. Zhang was the Assistant Director and Head of the Art Research Department of the Shanghai Art Museum in 1986-1989. In 1986, Zhang won the First Prize at The First Shanghai Young Artist’s Exhibition, organized by the Shanghai Art Museum, China.

In 1989, he moved to the US and continued his work as an artist. In 1990, Zhang was honored with a grant from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York, USA. In 1994, Zhang received The Gustavo Nicolich Fellowship at The Djerassi Foundation’s Resident Artist Program, California, and has a sculpture in the Permanent Collection. In 1995, Zhang was honored with an award at Art Matters Inc., New York, USA. In 1996, Zhang yet again won a grant at The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York, USA. In 1997, Zhang received a fellowship at The New York Foundation for the Arts for his Sculptural work, as well as at The Connemara Conservancy, Dallas, Texas. In 2002, Zhang won a grant from The Annie Wong Foundation, Hong Kong. Most recently, in 2014, Zhang received yet another fellowship at The New York Foundation for the Arts, The Gregory Millard Fellowship for his Sculptural works.

 

 

 
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