Born 1977 in Shanghai, China

Lives and works in Shanghai, China

Xu Zhen

Trickster, Agitator, Chameleon… these are nouns often used in relation to Shanghainese artist Xu Zhen. Though Xu Zhen still is quite young (born 1977 in Shanghai), his vita is quite impressive already and within China, he is regarded as one of the most influential artists from a younger generation. Xu Zhen started early in the Shanghai art scene mid to late 90s and exhibited already in the meanwhile legendary «Fuck Off» and «Art for Sale» exhibitions. Xu Zhen follows diverse artistic interests, ranging from body art, performances and complex art to installations, media art and collective art forms. In China, Xu Zhen has already been shown in solo shows at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, at the Minsheng Museum and at the Long Museum in Shanghai. Xu Zhen is deeply rooted in Shanghai and is not traveling to foreign countries due to fear of flying. Despite this, his art has been shown in the West early on. For example, he is the youngest artist ever from China to be shown at the Biennale in Venice (2001 and 2005) and he participated at group shows at the Guggenheim Museum New York, Kunstmuseum Bern, White Rabbit Gallery in Sidney, 13th Lyon Biennale, he had several solo presentations at Art Basel etc.). Furthermore, Xu Zhen hat solo presentations at the S.M.A.K. in Ghent (2009), at the IKOM Gallery Birmingham (2010), Kunsthalle Bern (2011), Kunsthaus Graz (2015), MOCA Los Angeles (2019) and at the National Gallery of Australia (2020). In other words: Xu Zhen belongs, besides Ai Wei Wei, probably to the most exhibited contemporary Chinese artists in the West. Nevertheless, Xu Zhen is not really famous yet outside of China. Anyhow, the cultural exchange with China is only in its infancy. Apart from Ai Wei Wei, only very few artists from China are known in the West.

Biography
Selected Works
Xu Zhen
New
2013
Stainless steel, paint
420 × 137,5 × 135 cm
Xu Zhen
Turbulent
2012
Action painting, spray paint on canvas, with nozzles
60 × 50 cm
1, 2, 3
October 18 – December 22, 2020
Basel
Exhibitions
Texts

“City on the Edge: Art and Shanghai at the Turn of the Millennium", with works by Ding Yi and Xu Zhen, at UCCA, Shanghai, CN

May 22 - July 11, 2021
UCCA, Shanghai, CN
News