Zhang Huan is one of the most vital influential and provocative contemporary artists working today.
Born in 1965 in Henan Province in China, Zhang is a performance artist, painter, photographer, and sculptor.
Zhang received his Master of Arts from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 1993. Zhang helped establish an important small artistic community known as Beijing East Village in the early 90s while living in an impoverished neighbourhood on the outskirts of Beijing. Early in his career, Zhang created performances that tested the limits of discomfort that his body can endure. Zhang created symbolic self-portraits that question the role of family and culture in shaping contemporary life in China. In 1998, Zhang moved to New York City and created works that often responded to his new surroundings, specifically his identity as a Chinese artist. Though he is most well-known for his performance arts, Zhang produced significant works of photography and sculpture, and are often documentation of his performances, or working in tandem with his performances.
His performances and solo exhibitions have been held at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto, Asia Society, New York, Venice Biennale, etc. His works can be found in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the San Diego Museum of Art, and many more.