张子飘，1993年出生于北京，于2011年及2012年就读于美国马里兰艺术学院，2015年毕业于美国芝加哥艺术学院。近期个展包括：本能，池社，上海，中国（2023）；生吞，厉蔚阁，纽约，美国（2023）；月震，龙美术馆，上海，中国（2022）；心锚，Salon 94，纽约，美国（2021）；春光乍泄，空白空间，北京，中国（2020），Cutthroat Kitchen，Mine Project Gallery，香港，中国（2019）；极度湿润！，空白空间，北京，中国（2018）；肤浅绘画 101，星空间，北京，中国（2017）；性感的歇斯底里症，应空间，北京，中国（2015）。2019年，张子飘入选福布斯亚洲“30位30岁以下精英”榜单以及“Best of the Best 罗博之选年度青年艺术家”。张子飘现工作生活于北京。
Opening: Thursday, November 9，2023
Duration: November 10 - December 24, 2023
Opening Hours: Tue.-Sun. 11:00-17:00
Location: Pond Society, 2555-4, Longteng Avenue, Shanghai
Pond Society presents “Instinct,” a solo exhibition by Zhang Zipiao, on view from November 9 to December 24, 2023. The exhibition features new paintings by the artist.
Continuing the artistic approach Zhang has developed over recent years, the creation of this new body of works was driven by individual experiences. Here, instinct refers to the actions and abilities innate to any living being. In these paintings, Zhang transforms the tangible experiences underwent by women in families and society, alongwith the emotions these experiences evoke, into affectively charged compositions.
Zhang’s latest painting series, titled “Spider,” marks a departure from the painterly tradition of representing female bodies directly. While still positioning the body as an external or internal battleground where one confronts oneself or others, the artist employs the spider—a creature that triggers fear—as a metaphor to project the physical, psychological, emotional, and mental conditions. Human fear of this cold-blooded animal is almost instinctual, as natural as the reactions and necessary choices women make when confronting the struggles of marriage, reproduction, the workplace, and beyond.
Depicted in aerial views, these paintings capture the spider in a moment of suspension, who quietly awaits the prey. Meanwhile, the compositions also ambiguously resemble the human bodies. A feeling of danger seems to lurk in the blood-red substrates, making one’s adrenaline rush; the viewers are alerted to a state charged with intensity. As the series developed, Zhang’s depiction of the spider has become increasingly abstract (see Spider 10). Providing clear structures to the compositions, the spider’s limbs also create flowing curves that demarcate the picture planes. Within these different boundary lines, the shifting colors and brush strokes clash often, giving rise to a sense of conflict and disintegration. The colors—flowing naturally or overlapping each other—continue to blend, metaphorically encapsulating the fight between the spider and its prey, making them inseparable.
A similar tension is evident in works that feature human organs as the subject, such as Skull 03, Brain 05, Tooth 01, and Heart 13. The deep, dark eye sockets in the skull are rendered as black holes that captivate one’s soul; the red lump drips from the center of the gum like blood. Universally experienced, the pain that stems from these organs is delivered to the viewers in a more direct and intensified manner. Continuously mobilizing her own experiences, emotions, inspirations, and bursts of creativity, the artist deftly switches her palette and brushwork, allowing the details to merge into a coherent whole.
Works such as Flamingo Flower 02, Mother of Pearl 13, and Rose 07 turn to another aspect of instinct that the artist intends to convey. The mother of pearl transforms gravel into pearls with its generous embrace, while the candle—which gives the Chinese name to the plant species known as Flamingo Flowers—burns itself out to provide warmth and energy. These are objects of affect and empathy, whose lives are also indicative of the tremendous life force women exhibit in the face of adversity. Through the works in this exhibition, the artist aims to show the physical and mental complexity associated with the notion of “instinct,” and continuously assert the subjectivity and autonomy of women.
Zhang Zipiao's painting practice revolves around human body, organs, and natural objects. By depicting content inconsistent with traditional society's social and ethical frameworks, her paintings directly or subtly reveal gender imagery, where the body revels before the demise of illusions. Her works are replete with vitality. The bodily body seems to be an erosive landscape in flux, and natural objects are imbued with restless humanity, projecting a rich and complex character of hypocrisy, sincerity, vulnerability, and strength. By exploring the medium of painting’s physical faculty for universally connecting body and spirit, Zhang Zipiao's works reflect on and critique reality under the theme of body politics.
Zhang Zipiao, born in Beijing in 1993, studied at the Maryland Institute of Art from 2011-2012, graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015. Her recent solo exhibitions include, Instinct, Pond Society, Shanghai, China (2023); Swallow Whole, LGDR, New York, USA (2023); Moonquake, Long Museum, Shanghai, China (2022); Heart of Anchor, Salon 94, New York, USA (2021); Blooming, WHITE SPACE, Beijing, China (2020); Cutthroat Kitchen, Mine Project Gallery, Hong Kong, China(2019); The Ultimate Moist!, WHITE SPACE, Beijing, China (2018); Shallow Painting 101, Star Gallery, Beijing, China (2017), and Sexy Hysteria, Ying Space, Beijing, China (2015). Zhang Zipiao was featured on the list of "30 Under 30 Asia" by Forbes and "2019 Best of the Best" in the annual young artist category by Robb Report in 2019. The artist currently lives and works in Beijing.
Founded by the collector Mr. Xue Bing, Pond Society is a non-profit art institution open to artists from all over the world. Focusing on multicultural perspectives and practices in the context of contemporary Chinese society, Pond Society aims to promote international exchange and cooperation in cutting-edge arts and culture, prosper art creation, academic studies and collection.
The name of the space is derived from the art group "Chi She" founded in 1986 by artists Zhang Peili, Geng Jianyi, Wang Qiang and Song Ling, with the founder Mr. Xue Bing paying tribute to the artists.
Since its inception in 2017, Pond Society has collaborated intensively with professional international art institutions, artists, curators and media. Based on West Bund, Shanghai, Pond Society has held the first themed exhibitions, forums and publications in China and Asia for numerous artists.