On 15 may at the State Hermitage Museum was to be opened the solo exhibition “Zhang Huan. In the ashes of history.” One of the world’s most famous Chinese artists were to be represented in the diversity of their practices. About what is happening now with the exhibition, tells Kira Dolinina.News about the exhibition Zhang Huan came to the days of the Hermitage are encouraging: the fact that the exhibition is still open, obviously counting and Museum, and the artist himself. Moreover, Zhang Huan had no quarantine stop in its Beijing factory, the Studio creates new works, including for exhibitions in Saint-Petersburg.Zhang Huan (born in 1965) — an artist of the type that responds immediately to social challenges. In this case, how it can bind to any sharp subject (the events on Tiananmen square, the control program for reproduction of “One family — one child”, the poor in new York), so each of them is beyond the scope of immediate relevance. After receiving an excellent classical art education in China and brilliantly playing the card of social realism in ambiguous paintings of the ideologically correct subjects, he suddenly turns 180 degrees and falls into the heresy of performance, and even in America, where he lived for eight years. To performance art, where the main “instrument” was the naked body of the artist and his assistants, joined the latest technology: Zhang Huan began to work with the ashes from the burned incense in the Buddhist temples. Ash will become the basis for paints for painting and can be compressed and turn into a Buddha statue.When young, he changed equipment such as gloves, his art seemed kaleidoscopes. But today it becomes obvious that the principle of construction of meanings in a variety of his works are similar. The artist responds to the problem that concerned him in a way that seems to him most sensitive in this particular case. And it brings results.The pandemic turned out to be for the artist’s next call. He, like all of us, reading the news, among which the lion’s share of stories about the tragedy of specific people, beating the nerves and imagination much more than statistics. Zhang Huan is a “diary” in the films. One picture, one story. This files most often — one or more deaths from coronavirus. The choice of technique for this series was clear: a few years ago, Zhang Huan returned to oil painting, but the color gave her a single, bright red. New quarantine, “red series” called “Love.” It is about those units, which consist of all those hundreds of thousands of deaths from the coronavirus. A pregnant woman whose husband could not pay for intensive care and agreed to a cessation of manipulate�� exactly one day before the Chinese government made the treatment of coronavirus free. The doctor who refused the help of colleagues, to infect, and died in the workplace. 72-year-old champion bodybuilder who failed to participate in the long-awaited competition.The history of these “little” people will come to the Hermitage in the fall (hopefully) and will take its place among the ashen statues, ash painting, wood carving with images of the main Hermitage paintings like “the Prodigal son” or “Madonna Litts” and other inventions of Zhang Huan. Something addition seems optimistic — the exhibition is not just transferred, but modified, according to the world in which we all live. Well, just — look, not all virtual now. “A good artist has no holidays” — great slogan from Zhang Huang.
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