Zhang Huan (b. 1965, Anyang) is an artist who focuses on performances that test his own physical and mental endurance. He created the majority of his endurance performances while living among a community of artists in an impoverished neighbourhood on the outskirts of Beijing. Following Zhang’s move to New York in 1998, he created works that often responded to his new surroundings and specifically his identity as a Chinese artist within the United States. Throughout his practice, the artist regularly tackles issues of politics, religion, and overpopulation in China. He as well works in the media of painting, photographs and sculpture.
Zhang Huan sends us for the project a statement on his thoughts surrounding the pandemic and its consequences on the people he knows and the world: “When the virus outbreak began in Wuhan, it took only 17 days for Chang Kai, a film director and his father, mother and sister to lose their lives. It was such a tragedy! However, during the pandemic, thousands of people have gone forever. We have to face the reality of what is happening.
Nothing is permanent in life. Everything was like a dream, a bubble. In the face of the virus, humans are helpless! We are just tiny dust in the universe. Amitabha!”
New York, 13/05/2020
Artists Respond project was started by the Institute for the Research of the Avant-Garde and the Marinko Sudac Collection. Addressing the current global pandemic, the project aims to virtually present the thoughts and attitudes of neo-avant-garde artists, their energy and the message they have for the present moment. This is the moment in which the world as we know it is on hold and the moment in which we need optimism and solidarity more than ever. We wish for the public to welcome the creative energy of these artists - artists who are ready to point out the state of things, to respond with art and creativity, as they have done in all difficult times in the past.