ash head by zhang huan

October 22, 2008

Easily my favourite piece and my favourite artist among all we saw on Saturday at ‘The Revolution Continues: New Chinese Art‘ in Chelsea. Zhang Huan is apparently known as a radical performance artist, but his work in this show was meditative, funny and literally textured.

Zhang uses ash from joss or incense sticks as his medium, applying it to canvas to create paintings with a faded black and white photography quality. Alternatively, as above and below, he uses it skillfully in large-scale sculptures to bring human features – skin, tufts of hair and eye lashes – to life from what is essentially burnt and discarded matter.


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