10-07-2008 10:21

Zhang Xiaogang is a contemporary Chinese symbolist and surrealist painter. He joined a group of young avant-garde artists who came to international prominence during the 1980s.

The cover of the 2007 book, "A History of Art in Twentieth Century China" is one of the “Big Family” series by Zhang Xiaogang.
The cover of the 2007 book, "A History of Art in Twentieth 
Century China" is one of the “Big Family” series by 
Zhang Xiaogang.

Zhang was a joint founder of the "Current of Life painters" Some of his early paintings looked back to the traditional roots of rural Chinese culture to explore human values.

The cover of the 2007 book, "A History of Art in Twentieth Century China" is one of the “Big Family” series by Zhang Xiaogang.

Almost every morning, Zhang Xiaogang goes from his home to his studio near Beijing Airport. In recent years, the evolution of the Chinese art market, has brought more and more artists from all around China to encamp here in northeast Beijing. For Zhang Xiaogang, his decision to settle here speaks to his inner determination to be a professional painter.

Huang Zhuan, an art critic, said, “In a big family, he had to learn how to shut himself up in a secret small cell. His paintings give room for viewers to fill in their own experience. He just made the story his mode. Based on understanding, the viewer can find his own story.”

Zhang Xiaogang said, “There is something vagrant in my heart. I dare not say it is a kind of aspiration. Maybe it's a kind of instinct. I am always longing for something that seems important -- way off in a faraway place”.