Zhang Xiaogang: Memory + ing

One thing that makes me grateful for where I live is the Daegu Art Museum. It is a place that engages and educates the entire community with its incredible rotation of art. Usually bustling with people of all ages, the museum offers something interesting for everyone. I have walked under hundreds of apple boxes suspended from the ceiling, I have climbed installations, walked into rooms that look like different planets, looked at paintings that made my head spin and discovered materials that I never even knew existed. You may go on a day where you will experience such things. If not, you will most definitely encounter something that inspires you.

The museum is currently showing work by Zhang Xiaogang, a Chinese symbolist and surrealist painter. Upon entering the exhibition viewers encounter a manifold of art including sculptures, drawings, paintings and photographs of various mediums. This show does not only focus on his most recent work, however,  it also includes pieces from various points in Xiaogang’s career-as far back as 1980. Some of the pieces are so visually and conceptually different, it was really exciting to see!

With his series titled Bloodline: The Big Family (1993-present) Xiaogang bridges two deep and personal abstractions- the history of China’s political disorder and the private lives of those affected. Knowing this beforehand, I thought it might be like seeing the calm after a storm. But when I actually stood in front of the work it wasn’t that way at all. The chaotic and emotional turmoil that lives beneath the surface of each piece will captivate you, and the shadowy figures almost bring you into their spectral realm.

 Xiaogang employs a visual theme of despair with his art. While this is impossible to ignore it might not be the first thing you notice. The work is also incredibly beautiful. Each painted face and bodiless sculpture, devoid of imperfections, is so smooth an eerily realistic. When you think of someone creating all of this themselves… it seems nearly impossible. Regardless of what you may take away from this body of work, you will undoubtedly be impressed with the quality of representation.  

Don’t miss this opportunity to see something great! The exhibition will be held until September 9th, 2014.


-Sybille Cavasin

To get there: Take the green line to Daegu Grand Park, Exit 5. Once you reach the top of the stairs from this exit, you can hop onto a shuttle bus which is provided by the museum. It is free and departs every 30 minutes!