Halo ——a solo exhibition by Zhang Miao
2020.05.16 - 2020.06.30
Artists: Zhang Miao


Zhang Miao


Opening2020.05.16, 16:00 - 20:00

2020.05.16 – 06.30


As always, you and I have been faltering forward on a visible path, towards an apparent monument. Some people in the crowd lament at the wildness of grass; others rest in the shade under a tree. We lookout for the distant horizon, and from time to time, at the path behind us.   


I firmly believe what I believe, I doubt what I doubt, I doubt what I firmly believe, and I believe what I doubt. People cannot affirm and reject what I believe and doubt. So, I am becoming increasingly resolute and skeptical. These constitute my logic.  


I am passing through the horizon. Either from underground or over the sky, I look into the past, which has become the future. Past and future have become the present.


Zhang Miao has always tried to consider painting as a discipline, like treating the butterfly as an insect, while overlooking the butterfly’s type and color. Hence, his relationship to his practice becomes, “What makes a painting?" To answer this fundamental question, he calls his practice, "The still life done with a brush and installed on the wall”. (Zhang Miao uses English to define his practice because he considers the linguistic logic more appropriate to his expression, that can be generally understood as “still-life with traces of paint that’s relatively unanimated or live, occupying a space”). Hence, when one faces a painting in its entirety that doesn't convey a narrative despite its capacity for narration, it displays traces of the brush without the artist's attitude and position. What interests the artist is the intellectual dimension a work of art would engender with its viewers, and this induced space is free and vital as the viewer loses the focus to make associations.


Modernist and post-modernist architects have adopted the role of the observer in approaching complex and contradictory juxtapositions in their practice (as architects need to consider the functionality and practicality of architecture). These experiences are what the artist has drawn. Once the questions of "what makes a painting painting” and “what makes an architecture architecture”, are put together, patched and integrated as “all in one”, they transform the way and dimension of looking and become what the artist calls "the collapse of time”. This collapse happened on John Hejduk's architecture on paper and poetry, between the acts of Brecht's plays, in Kubrick's films, and John Cage's music. When the medium becomes the subject of one's practice, the artist is a practitioner and an observer who does not override the viewer. "What makes a painting painting?” is both the question and its answer. Which, does not place the viewer in a definitive, or imposing context. In “Halo”, as painting, sculpture and architecture integrated into an “all-in-one” entity, it becomes the collapse of question and answers. 


I seem to understand something, but still cluelessly openminded, I am flustered while feeling at ease, I cannot look away, but to stare voraciously, at something that has been devoured by radiance


Sun Shixian



About the artist: 


Zhang Miao, born in Beijing, had been enrolled in the oil painting department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2004 and graduated with a BFA degree in 2008. His first solo exhibition presented at the gallery in 2010, "To Self," launched his professional career. "Halo" marks his sixth solo project since 2010.