Xu Zhen “Civilization Iteration” at Galerie Perrotin Paris

Galerie Perrotin Paris presents « Civilization Iteration », the first solo exhibition of Chinese artist Xu Zhen, exhibiting one series of works since 2013, when he started a brand in his own name. The exhibited series shows how an artist, amidst increasing globalization and networking of art, can approach the future of art with his own formula.

Xu Zhen was born in 1977, and lives and works in Shanghai, China. Xu Zhen is an emblematic figure of the new generation of young contemporary Chinese artists. His work includes various mediums, such as photography, installation, video, painting or performance. In his works, Xu Zhen focuses on human sensitivity, and looks at socio-political problems and the taboos still present in contemporary society.

GEP_Xu Zhen2
Xu Zhen “Evolution-Apsaras from the North Wall of Mogao Cave No. 321, Iatmul Canoe Prow Mask” (detail), 2016. Oil on canvas. 250 × 166 cm / 98 7/16 × 65 3/8 in. Produced by MadeIn Company. Courtesy : Galerie Perrotin

As early as 2001, Xu participated in the 49th Venice Biennale, then the youngest Chinese artist to exhibit works at this international art event. Having made a name at 20 as an artist, he has since created a large number of works based on his own consciousness. The passage from one century to the next brought with it not only socio-economic but also cultural changes, the latter deeply influencing Xu Zhen as an artist. The great divide of his career came in 2009 when he established the art creation enterprise MadeIn Company in Shanghai. Since then his works have been produced in a corporate fashion and his “artist” identity has been plunged into the center of controversy. Meanwhile, Xu Zhen’s creative focus has begun to shift to the relationship between art and business.

From the “individual artist period” when he concerned himself with the consciousness of identity, to “Xu Zhen brand”, Xu Zhen has moved on to repeatedly examine the current culture. The transition is nothing less than a reflection of the tremendous changes in human history over the past decades. Admittedly, the extension of consciousness unleashed by the Internet has eliminated temporal and spatial disparity. Yet, in the process, cultural learning in the traditional sense has been destroyed by information overload, giving way to recurrent cultural stagnation and dysfunctional standards. The information highway makes one feel unreal, so much so that the boundaries between meaning, values and reality gradually blur. Living in this “post-truth” age, one begins to see why the artist should uphold “iteration” as an effective way of responding to a postmodern society. For in the course of time, after endless destruction and reconstruction, the boundless reformulations are sure to open up a new paradigm for civilization in the present.

« Civilization Iteration »
May 18 – July 29, 2017
Galerie Perrotin
76, rue de Turenne – 75003 Paris, France
Opening hours : from Tuesday to Saturday, from 11am to 7pm
Telephone : +33 (0)1 42 16 79 79
Mail : paris@perrotin.com
Official website : here

Main illustration :
XU Zhen
« Eternity-Six Dynasties Period Painted Earthenware Dragon, Sleeping Muse » 2016
Mineral-based composite, mineral pigments, stainless steel
198 × 250 × 120 cm / 77 15/16 × 98 7/16 × 47 1/4 in
Produced by MadeIn Company
Courtesy : Galerie Perrotin