Dialogue 11/11/99

1999

Object

Artist

Zhang Dali, Chinese, 1963-
Born: Harbin, China
Work Locations: Beijing, China

Country

Object Info

Object: sculpture
Not currently on view
Object ID: 2015.638

Medium/Technique

Neon (red) mounted on reinforced canvas

Credit

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

More Info

Dimensions

height: 48 in, 121.9200 cm; width: 48 in, 121.9200 cm; depth: 5 in, 12.7000 cm

Department

Modern and Contemporary Art

Caption

(c) Zhang Dali

Extended Info

“Between 1995 and 1998, when he came forward to claim authorship, Zhang Dali spray-painted some two thousand profiles of a distinct head across the city of Beijing, both in small neighborhoods and alongside wide avenues. Although the profile image of the bald head had, in fact, originated during the artist’s six-year self-exile to Italy following the 1989 demonstrations and bloodshed of Tiananmen Square, it became what Zhang characterized as an attempt to sustain a “dialogue” between himself and the city of Beijing. This self-portrait profile is now well-documented in numerous photographs of his interventions throughout Beijing, a city under transformation from networks of alleyway hutongs to wide boulevards with modern skyscrapers. The image is often placed next to the Chinese character “chai” (to demolish), signifying that the marked building is slated for destruction.

“…More recently, the artist has captured this eccentric profile in more durable form as large neon sculptures that in a public setting would mingle with ubiquitous street advertising.” (Radar, 180)

Zhang was born in 1963 in Harbin, China. He graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 1987 with a BA in painting. He currently lives and works in Beijing.

© Zhang Dali

Exhibition History

  • "Radar: Selections from the Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan"— Denver Art Museum [10/07/2006 - 07/15/2007]
  • "Half-Life of a Dream: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Logan Collection"— San Francisco Museum of Modern Art [07/10/2008 - 10/05/2008]
  • "Transforming Traditions: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Logan Collection"— Victoria H. Myhren Gallery, University of Denver [03/05/2009 - 04/23/2009]