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Find Zhang Xiaotao Biography and artwork at Saatchi-gallery

Zhang Xiaotao's "A Joyful Time," where huge oil and watercolor paintings invite the viewer in a vivid underwater world of copulating frogs and intertwined human forms, the reaction "elated and free" comes back to mind. Amphibious creatures float unencumbered in washes of blue, green, and orange paint, making outlines their unique, eye-pleasing shapes. So it has a big surprise that made the artist's background-which he almost drowned as a child and is afraid of water, and that he comes from a country whose reproductive harsh and punitive policies. Zhang's first exhibit in the United States, including a month-long residency at Pacific Bridge Gallery, which last spring garnered attention for his controversial exhibition of Ho Chi Minh portraits. Zhang, 29, has a degree in oil painting and teaches it to the Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu.
The Some of the largest works, behind the gallery, is also the most provocative. In dark gray-green hazes float big, rubbery shape. These are transparent sheaths with tips reservoir, and faces peer from behind, or inside. Tiny bubbles are suspended in a rugged tubes, and here and there a large piece of red paint splattered contrasts with the green. The faces glisten as if behind a glass window, and their wide-eyed constraint elicits sadness.
Everywhere in Zhang's work one finds splotches of red paint. It appears to be mixed with something not quite blend, and the effect is that of a potato stamp made from a bumpy, many-eyed potato. In the context of sex and birth, though, bubbles and deep-red blotches are semen and blood. They are repeated threads of humanity: fluids that transmit the life, inheritance, and the most important fluids of ancestry-containing not only DNA, but also the ways in which we (both animals and humans) need each other and hurt each other. In their aqueous environment, drops, smears and splotches also remind one of amoebas seen under a microscope, like the beads of a primordial sea.
If every one of Zhang's paintings, as he claims, is a glimpse into his dreams about drowning, then It would seem his nightmares faded over time and made aesthetic remnants. More new demons, universal ones, with pop out of his job while he process his fears. The underwater trauma that transformed itself into beauty with paint and renewal reinvents itself on this new sociological and psychological overtones. Something new is displacing its original memories, passion wrapped in experience, and revealing the intersection of childhood and adulthood.


• Born in Hechuan, Chongqing, China


• Graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Fine Arts Institute
• Now teaching Southwest Jiao Tong University
• Lives and works in Beijing and Chengdu

His Selected Exhibitions

1. Three Language Three Colors, UM Gallery, Korea

2. Jiang Hu, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, USA

3. Poetic Realism: A reinterpretation of Jiangnan, RCM Art Museum, Nanjing, China

4. Bright and sanitation, Heyri Art Foundation, Korea

5. Chanting our happy life - the second China Culture Festival Song Zhuang art,
Beijing, China

6. Beautiful imbroglio, He Xiang Ning Art Museum, Shenzhen, China (solo)

7. Dreamscapes, Foundation3, 14 Bergen, Norway (solo)

8. Dream Factory - garbage heap, Tokyo Gallery, Japan (solo)

9. Live in Chengdu, the Modern Art Museum, Chengdu, China

10. Biennial Prague 2, Prague, National Gallery Veletrzni Palac, Prague, Czech Republic

11. nd Every third year of Chinese Arts, Nanjing Art Museum, Nanjing, China

12. The Road Map of Painting 798 Space, Beijing, China

13. Beyond temporality - Pingyao Photography Festival, Shan Xi, China

14. Conceptual Art - Exhibition of Contemporary Paintings from China, SEAC Tap Gallery, Macao, China

15. 2 Chengdu biennial, the Modern Art Museum, Chengdu, China

16. Officinal Asia, Galleria d'Arte Modema, Bologna, Italy

17. In Jia Hua, China Art season, Beijing, China

About the Author

View more information about Zhang Xiaotao paintings, biography and Exhibitions at The Saatchi Gallery - London contemporary art gallery. Zhang Xiaotao

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