‘There is in Zhang’s work a disturbing sense of detachment. The cool, impersonal face of the baby (beautiful, soft, oddly uniform though it is) seems to represent an ideal that is ambiguous in its obvious, almost flagrant, confrontation with the viewer. Yet the face remains unapproachable and unattainable. With a subtle sleekness Zhang expresses so many of the dilemmas facing modern China: the urgent quest for engagement with the world without prejudice to its own values and traditions, the tension between public and private, between collective good and private ambition, between self - so strongly illustrated in this image – and society. With its limpid eyes and hint of happy impertinence, this strangely mature baby infers the contradictory senses of confidence and vulnerability. Zhang Xiaogang, who teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts in Chengdu, Sichuan province, represents, in both his style and broader social and human concerns, a gregarious and imaginative new spirit in Chinese painting.’
‘The Asian Collections: Art Gallery of New South Wales’. pg.179
© 2003 Trustees, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Place where the work was made
oil on canvas
200.0 x 260.0 cm
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., corner, in Chinese, inscribed "Zhang Xiaogang 2001". Signed l.r., corner, in Chinese, inscribed "Zhang Xiaogang".
Not on display
© Zhang Xiaogang
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Chengdu Biennale, Chengdu Modern Art Museum, 15 Dec 2001–15 Jan 2002
Referenced in 3 publications
Edmund Capon, Art Gallery of New South Wales: highlights from the collection, Sydney, 2008, 152, 153 (colour illus.).
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The Shanghai School and Modern Painting', Sydney, 2003, 179 (colour illus.).
Art Gallery of New South Wales annual report 2003 [for the year ended 30 June 2003], 'Year in review', pg.14-35, Sydney, 2003, 21.