Zhang Yuan Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

Zhang Yuan
9 o'clock


Oil on canvas

210 x 295 cm
Rendered in the thinnest grey pigments over chalky white backgrounds, Zhang Yuan’s scenes are more apparitions than articulated forms. Transient, diffused, dripping as if still wet, Zhang’s paintings convey a dream-like state, where unrelated images converge as subconscious narrative suggestions, creating their own associations and tangents through the viewer’s instinctive response.
Zhang Yuan


Oil on canvas

210 x 280 cm
That Zhang works from found photographs adds a layer of mystery to his ephemeral compositions. Presented as a series of ’‘montaged’ vignettes rather than a unified whole, portraits, landscapes, and industrial scenes mingle without fixed place or context, their familiar anonymity appropriated directly from the vague-ities of collective memory. Zhang’s spontaneous illustrative style, however, lends itself more to film: his random images flit in and out of focus, hinting at just enough detail to give an impression before melting away into the next; his fragmented subjects allude to a sense of non-sequential time.
Zhang Yuan
Fog's Colour


Oil on canvas

210 x 280 cm
For Zhang, it isn’t the images or their potential meaning that is of interest, but rather the opportunities they present for painterly negotiation and embellishment. Zhang uses his medium with the fluency of a master. His brushstrokes embody a calligraphic elegance, encapsulating each sentiment with an economic shorthand: a dab of white transforms a cartoon face to a realistic figure, smoke is instantly created with one sooty squiggle, and an abbreviated line can be anything from a boat, to a horizon, or a leg. The intrigue of Zhang’s work lies in this delicate balance between representation and imagination, that misty area where new ideas are emerge between appetence and cognition.

Other artists in

Zhang Dali    Zeng Fanzhi    Wang Guangyi    Zheng Guogu    Zhang Haiying    Zhang Hongtu    Zhang Huan    Qiu Jie    Xiang Jing    Shi Jinsong    Fang Lijun    Yue Minjun    Li Qing    Wu Shanzhuan    Shen Shaomin    Li Songsong    Zhan Wang    Liu Wei    Zhang Xiaogang    Zhang Xiaotao    Cang Xin    Shi Xinning    Li Yan    Bai Yiluo    Zhang Yuan    Sun Yuan & Peng Yu    Yin Zhaohui    Feng Zhengjie

Zhang Yuan's Biography

Zhang Yuan
Born in Wuhan

Lives and works in Beijing


The Concealed Structure, Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing, China


Hard Crust Art Exhibition, Beijing, China

Between Market and Utopia, Beijing, China
New Formula, Shanghai, China
Truth&Possibility, Beijing, China

Truth & Possibility, Beijing, China
Main Body, Medium, Meaning, Beijing, China
On One's Mark Art Exhibition, Beijing, China