Zhang Huan

Ash / Buddha

Zhang Huan is one of the most vital and interesting artists working in China today. Since the early 1990s the departure point for his work has been the language of the human body, a language at times intensely autobiographical, and at other times highly politicised.

A key figure of Beijing’s East Village scene in the 1990s, Zhang Huan came to international prominence through his radical performances. In recent years he has made a shift from a performative to an object-based practice; while the artist continues to favour direct confrontations with the concrete, physical world, it is primarily through painting, sculpture and works on paper rather than through his own body.

This double catalogue was published on the occasion of exhibitions at Haunch of Venison in London and Berlin, 2007.

Huan’s first solo exhibition in London featured a number of new paintings and sculptures from his series of Ash works. In Berlin the artist created a major installation entitled Berlin Buddha. A 4m-high ash Buddha sat facing the aluminium mould from which it was cast, before slowly disintegrating over the three-month course of the exhibition.

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