Pilgrimage

2001

Object

Artist

Zhang Huan, Chinese, 1965-
Born: Henan Province or China
Work Locations: Shanghai, China; New York, NY

Country

Object Info

Object: sculpture
Not currently on view
Object ID: 2003.918A-B

Medium/Technique

Stone

Credit

Gift from the collection of Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum
See more objects from the Logan Collection.

More Info

Dimensions

height: 25 5/8 in, 65.0875 cm; length: 133 7/8 in, 340.0425 cm; width: 59 in, 149.8600 cm; weight: 14,000 oz, -1000.0000 g

Department

Modern and Contemporary Art

Inscription

"2001 1/3" carved on one of the short sides of element B (bottom element)

Extended Info

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.