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'In-Out' Series No. 12



Zhang Xiaogang


1958 –

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    oil on canvas
    150.0 x 200.0 cm
    Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Daniel Droga 2022
    Upper Asian gallery
    Accession number
    © Zhang Xiaogang, courtesy Pace Gallery Beijing

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Zhang Xiaogang

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Zhang Xiaogang is an internationally renowned and respected Chinese contemporary artist. He grew up during the period of the Cultural Revolution and that decade, along with the years of rapid change that followed in China, have exerted a strong influence on his paintings, many of which draw on memory and a sense of place in society, both real and imagined. In 1995, Zhang’s ‘Bloodlines – Big family’ portrait series was shown at the Venice Biennale. These large, somber, grey and stylised portraits based on his family’s photos from the 1950s and 1960s brought him widespread fame. 'In-Out' Series No. 12 was painted in 2006 as Zhang attemped to break away from the family photo series. The artist challenged himself to create a new style, deliberately excluding the human figure.

    'In-Out' Series No. 12 depicts the living room of Zhang’s parents’ home in which the sofa set is part of the furniture. His father often sat on the right side, while the folded chair was for visitors. In addition, Zhang has included a spitoon, a vessel that most Chinese families in the 1960s and 1970s had, as well as the string to turn on the light. Here he explores the aesthetic influence of those decades on the family’s interor. In his own words: ‘The work borrows the colour tone of the faded magazines, and uses the contrast effect formed by the blurred scene and high-definition parts (light switch and spitoon) to set off some kind of magical strangeness and confusion.’

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • Correspondence, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 10 Sep 2022–2024

Other works by Zhang Xiaogang