Zhang Xinjun at Wonderland / Beijing

Zhang Xinjun / Craft

March 3 - April 13, 2024
706 North First Street,798 Art Zone
Beijing, China 

The exhibit features the installation "Lot Index," conceived specifically for this space, alongside a series of paintings, initiating a dialogue on land, growth, and the environment.Born in Zhengzhou, Henan, in 1983, Zhang Xinjun earned his Bachelor's from the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute's Oil Painting Department in 2005 and his Master's from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2009, and is now based in Beijing.

Starting from the creation concerning residence, migration, temporariness and instability during the Black Bridge era, to the sensations of bondage and endurance, and then examining individual existence amid urban-rural transformations, Zhang Xinjun utilizes materials from his daily life, across diverse mediums like installations, sculptures, paintings, and performance art, persistently investigates the dynamic between individual existence and the environment through time and space. This observation of the "state of living" has become the main thread through his practices at different times.

 "Lot Index" perpetuates the nuanced interplay between agricultural civilization and urban culture, a contradiction and coexistence that has consistently intrigued Zhang Xinjun in his creative endeavors. Considering the special structure of the space, Zhang fills the sunken space of the exhibition site with soil, plants wheat, and then covers it with sewer manhole and paving stones commonly seen in urban landscapes. The wheat grows slowly during the exhibition time, in dark places under the city that cannot be clearly seen, growing within constrained, formalized, and solid modules. Some of them emerge through the grates of the sewer, while others may always remain underground. The crops and the land metaphor some of the living spaces that are gradually being replaced in the transformation of urban-rural structures, and the state of survival of individual lives in this situation is revealed over time.

In Zhang Xinjun's paintings, the subjects of the images are some basic material elements that are not specific: wheat, cotton, clods of soil, coal blocks, either enclosed in containers, scattered, or resting in space, or can be considered as a substitute of human flesh. Through straightforward and sincere expression, Zhang Xinjun captures elemental materials tied to human existence, embodying his insights and interpretations of reality, and reconnecting with elements fading from everyday awareness.