Story and Feed - Recent Works by Zhang Shujian
2020.07.18 - 2020.08.23
Artists: Zhang Shujian

Zhang Shujian’s paintings obsessively close in on the subject of people, the ruthless examination and close-up scan have afforded the painter much satisfaction, but as he is someone who cares deeply about our realities, his reliance on “meanness” for thrill is dwindling, despite the prevalence of beauty camera.


The recent pocketbook-sized canvas inspired him to find possible healing inside himself. “I want to make paintings that can be handled like a comic”, according to the painter. Zhang Shujian’s painting practice possesses essential qualities of the nerd culture, marked by his lack of real interest in feedback once his impulse to express is satisfied. The scourge of humanity in his paintings may not be his intention to criticize, and it may very well be a self-serving act of dissing out opinions in an indisputable manner, perhaps similar to the motives of Autotune Remix video up-loaders online. The viewer may be reduced to voyeurism, while the positive side being whatever pleasure one find there will be no bearings on conscience whatsoever. The latest three paintings at this exhibition features three noses. Man is represented by an isolated organ, an organ associated with the function of foraging. The artist seems to want to help those of us who lack the imagination for the end of humankind, to see inside the nostrils the monstrous darkness of subconscious and survival.


The hands are more connected to memory, the pocket book scale endows the works with a sentimental touch. On the basis of the feel of objects, the recent images continue to focus on his one and only subject of interest-people, the joy of cutting into the texture of reality, turning horror into absurdity, extreme close ups as well as venturing into the subject of social distance, the realm of private feelings.