- Zhang Huan, Chinese, 1965-
- Born: Henan Province or China
- Work Locations: Shanghai, China; New York, NY
See more objects from the Logan Collection.
Recently, Zhang has been making stone sculptures usually very large. This piece is the stone version of the performance at P.S. 1. But the bed of ice has melted into water and the flesh turned to stone. Endurance made eternal, perhaps, but also a monumental peace.
At P.S. 1, the contemporary art museum in Queens, New York, in 1998, Zhang performed "Pilgrimage: Wind and Water in New York," and was documented by a photograph. In it the artist lays face down and nude on a traditional Chinese bed but the mattress is actually blocks of ice. Tied to the bed frame are several pure bred dogs. Zhang's performances are heavily symbolic references to his impoverished youth in Hunan. Performances like "Pilgrimage" are tests of endurance but also a kind of meditation. The symbolism might be hard for Westerners to fully understand since it is incipiently Chinese, but the images are powerful to everyone who encounters them even in images.