Zhang-Huan

9

Zhang Huan, Family Tree, 2000

About this work, the artist says, “I invited 3 calligraphers to write texts on my face from early morning until night. I told them what they should write and to always keep a serious attitude when writing the texts even when my face turns to dark. My face followed the daylight till it slowly darkened. I cannot tell who I am. My identity has disappeared.

This work speaks about a family story, a spirit of family. In the middle of my forehead, the text means "Move the Mountain by Fool (Yu Kong Yi Shan)”. This traditional Chinese story is known by all common people, it is about determination and challenge. If you really want to do something, then it could really happen. Other texts are about human fate, like a kind of divination. Your eyes, nose, mouth, ears, cheekbone, and moles indicate your future, wealth, sex, disease, etc. I always feel that some mysterious fate surrounds human life which you can do nothing about, you can do nothing to control it, it just happened.“

Pace Chesa Büsin: Pace is pleased to present a retrospective of Zhang Huan’s work at Chesa Büsin in Zuoz, Switzerland from July 14 through August 31. Encompassing the past 20 years of Zhang Huan’s career, the exhibition will explore themes of Buddhism, existentialism and the limits of the human body that have been central to his artistic practice since 1994.

Image: ½ (Meat + Text), 1998, chromagenic color print.