CHINA, circa 1968

ZHANG Guo Ning
10 Oct - 22 Oct 2004
Hong Kong

With much honour and delight, this coming October Connoisseur Art Gallery will be presenting CHINA, circa 1968, a solo exhibition of the renowned Chinese artist ZHANG Da Zhong. Showcasing 10 of his latest works, this exhibition will be ZHANG's first solo exhibition in Hong Kong.

Born in Guangzhou in 1953, ZHANG received his MFA from the highly esteemed Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 1977. ZHANG is most famous for his ability to capture people's facial expressions and gestures in a specific time and space. Be it an athlete in the midst of a game, a girl standing deep in thoughts, or the young and energetic Red Guards of the Cultural Revolution in China, all of ZHANG's paintings are a vivid proof of his artistically dexterous hands.

ZHANG has created especially for this first solo exhibition in Hong Kong a series of realistic female portraits of the Red Guards, a subject close to his heart. The Red Guards belong to a period of havoc and instability in Chinese history - the Cultural Revolution. ZHANG's choice of presenting his subjects in tranquil and rather abstract, theatrical settings acts as a striking contrast to the harsh reality, as if it is his effort to try protecting these Red Guards from the menace and threats that await them. The Cultural Revolution is one of ZHANG's largest sources of inspiration because the artist himself has lived through and has been strongly impacted by the period.

With his immaculate brushstrokes, ZHANG meticulously depicts his subjects' exquisite features and gestures. Some stand reading the Little Red Book; others appear to be deep in thoughts. The young Red Guards, all wearing their uniforms, are alive and beautiful; yet they are also fragile and need protection. Deep down beneath their innocent yet contemplative faces lay traces of hopes and fears about the future, and dreams and uncertainties about life. The ambiguity of the emotional state of ZHANG's subjects often gives his paintings an especially piquant, thought-provoking quality. The messages within are worth deciphering.

ZHANG's works are collected internationally in countries such as Austria, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States. He has received numerous awards in China, and his works have been auctioned by Christie? Hong Kong. His impeccable technical virtuosity brings his audience back to moments in time that his paintings depict.

Exhibition Catalogue

China, circa 1968 - Oil Paintings of ZHANG Da Zhong

44 pp: 17 illustrations

Paperback Catalogue HK$100 US$13

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