Source:Artintern Author:Huang Zhuan Date: 2008-09-13 Size:
In recent years, the artist Zhang Peili gradually formed and developed a concept and style described as "scene". In 2003, Zhang created From 50 to 100 cm. which is about the rays of the sun that shine in his studio.


In recent years, the artist Zhang Peili gradually formed and developed a concept and style described as "scene". In 2003, Zhang created From 50 to 100 cm. which is about the rays of the sun that shine in his studio. He recorded the shape and size of the rays as they change at different times during the day. In 2004, Zhang created From 9th to 23rd May, which shows the trace of a cake from its fresh to rotten state. In the same year, he created a similar work titled Mark. In 2007, Zhang created Scenic Outside the Window in Hangzhou. In this video work, Zhang originally recorded weather changes through a window located at the exhibition site; during the exhibition, this video is projected on the wall opposite to the real window so that the earlier weather changes recorded in the video and the present real window are face to face in the exhibition.

In his solo exhibition in New York this January, Zhang created Untitled (Decaying Flower). This work shows the different stages of the flower from delicately pretty to a decaying state. These small works mentioned above are all concerned with complicated technical issues. All of them are about time, memory, about the recording and contrasting of the real thing and the real scene. These works have shown once in local exhibitions. Although they have not shown in more extensive exhibitions, they have gradually formed and developed into the latest two works created by Zhang. Both of these two new works are made at the exhibition site.

If we conclude that the small works mentioned above are made at the exhibition site, recording the real state of that site, then the two new large-scale works can be described as representing the artificial things that exist at the exhibition site. This kind of large-scale work mainly includes two parts, one is installation, the other is video. Compared to the small works, this kind of large-scale work is concerned with even more complicated technical issues. One of the necessary conditions is the participation of many technicians from different technical fields. The first of the two large-scale works is A Gust of Wind, created this April in Beijing. In this work, Zhang built an indoor environment, and then demolished it artificially. He turned it into a ruin, and at the same time, he shot the process of making the ruin. Finally, the exhibition was the ruin itself and the video of the process of making it. Zhang tried his best to imitate the real process of something falling into ruin, and considered the lifelike effect of details in his installation.


Another large-scale work made for exhibition is Mute, which will be shown at OCAT. It's the latest work created by Zhang and represents his newest artistic direction. One of the characteristics of OCAT's space is "workshop". Zhang's work or exhibition will fit with this idea, combining installation and video together to show and realize a concept and method described as "renew a scene". It will provide a scene that is more artificial and dramatic than A Gust of Wind. The confusion of static and dynamic, true or not in Mute, presents Zhang's notion of the relationship between the exhibition scene and the work shown at the exhibition scene. A Gust of Wind produces the exhibition scene inside the exhibition scene, while Mute produces and renews an intrinsic scene into the exhibition scene.

Mute: Zhang Peili's Solo Exhibition represents the newest production made from Zhang's long exploration in video. Even in 1988, Zhang created the video work 30X30, and he has gone by the name of "the father of video art in China". In the '85 period, Zhang participated and organized the exhibition New Space and the Pool Society (Chi She group). From 1995, Zhang gave up painting, and flung himself into video art. In addition to video, he has created photography and installation. From 2001 to the present, Zhang has held a post as the director of the New Media Department at the China Academy of Fine Arts. He has committed himself to teaching Chinese contemporary art. Mute: Zhang Peili's Solo Exhibition is Zhang's third solo exhibition this year, and it is one of the series of important projects of OCAT this year. At the same time, OCAT will edit and publish a book of Zhang's art and working experience. This book will display details of all of Zhang's art works, texts of Zhang’s writings and interviews, and the primary concept of Zhang's teaching method. This book will be the first integrated documentary of Zhang's artistic practice.

[Editor] Mark Lee