Zhang Dali Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

Zhang Dali
Chinese Offspring


Mixed media: resin mixed with fibreglass 15 life size cast figures

Average height 170 cm each
According to the artist, immigrant workers who have traveled from the rural areas all over China to earn a living in construction sites in Chinese cities, are the most important members of the Chinese race, who are shaping our physical reality. Yet, they are the faceless crowd who live at the bottom of our society. To cast them in resin is a way to recognize their existence and contribution as well as to capture a fast-changing point of time in the Chinese society. From 2003 to 2005, Zhang has portrayed 100 immigrant workers in life-size resin sculptures of various postures, with a designated number, the artist’s signature and the work’s title “Chinese Offspring” tattooed onto each of their bodies. They are often hung upside down, indicating the uncertainty of their life and their powerlessness in changing their own fates.
Zhang Dali
Chinese Offspring (Detail)


Mixed media: resin mixed with fibreglass 15 life size cast figures

Average height 170 cm each
Zhang Dali’s work actively engages with the rapidly changing environment in China. Zhang started working in portraiture as one of Beijing’s first graffiti artists, spraying and carving heads into the walls of the hundreds of buildings scheduled for destruction. Working across a wide variety of media - from urban art, to archiving photographs of Mao, and large scale installations - Zhang’s portraits document a contemporary social history of a culture in radical development and flux.

Chinese Offspring is one of Zhang’s best known works. Consisting of 15 cast resin figures suspended from the ceiling, each sculpture is a representation of a migrant construction worker, a vast underclass who contribute to the modernisation process at it most visible level. Since 2003, Zhang has made 100 of these effigies in tribute to their unsung heroism. Zhang’s work not only champions the individual plights of these transient labourers, but also records the one of the most important phenomena of new Chinese order: the growing schism between poverty and wealth. Zhang’s figures are hung by their feet to denote their vulnerability and economic entrapment. Each bears a unique tattoo issuing them with an edition number, the Chinese Offspring project title, and the artist’s signature of authentication - a normal practice in indexing art construed as a witty commentary on social engineering and population control
Zhang Dali
Chinese Offspring (Detail)


Mixed media: resin mixed with fibreglass 15 life size cast figures

Average height 170 cm each

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 Dali's Biography

Zhang Dali
Born in 1963, Harbin, China
Lives and works in Beijing, China


Demolition: Second History, The Charles Shain Library, Connecticut College, New London, Ct
New Slogan, Eli Klien Art, New York, NY

Extreme Reality, Tank Loft, Chongqing Contemporary Art Centre, Chongqing, China
Zhang Dali Solo Show, Magda Danysz/ Bund 18 gallery, China

Pervasion: Works by Zhang dali (1995-2008), He Xianaing Art Museum, Shenzhen, China
Il Sogno Proibito Della Nuova Cina, Palazzo Inghilterra, Turin, Italy

Slogans, Kiang gallery, Atlanta, GA
The Road To Freedom, Red Star Gallery, Beijing, China

Chinese Offspring, Chinese Contemporary Gallery, New York, NY

Zhang Dali: Image and Revision in New Chinese Photography, Janet Wallace Fine Arts Centre, Macalester College, St.Paul, MN
A Second History, Ferst Center For The Arts, Georgia Institute Of Technology
Zhang Dali: A Second History, Walsh Gallery, Chicago, IL

Sublimation, Beijing Commune Gallery, Beijing, China

New Works By Zhang Dali, Chinese Contemporary Gallery, London


Faking It: Manipulated Phototgraphy Before Photoshop, The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, New York
New Photography 2011, The Museum Of Modern Art, New York
Speech Matters, The 54th International Art Exhibition Of The Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Black And White, Zero Art Museum, Beijing China
The Life And Death Of Buildings, Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ
Relationship, Guangdong Museum Of Art, China, Guangzhou, China
Self Camera, Changwon Asia Art Festival, Seongsan Art Hall, South Korea
The Evolving Art, Academy Of Arts and Design at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Is The World Real? 6th Lianzhou International Photo Festival, Lianzhou, China
The Original Copy: Photography Of A Sculpture, 1839 to Today, MOMA, New York, NY
Exhibition Exhibition, Castello di Rivoli Museo De Arte Contemporanea, Turin, Italy
Four Dimensions, Hong Kong Photo Festival, Hong Kong, China
Zhang Dali: A Second History 41st Edition Of Les Recontres d’arles, Espace Van Gogh, Arles France
A Decade-Long Exposure, central Academy Of Arts Museum, Beijing, China
Dimensionality, Red Star Gallery, Beijing, China
Great Performance, Pace Beijing, China
Ame de Chine, Magda Danysz Gallery, Paris, France
From New York To Beijing: Graffiti-Blogging In The Street- Blade and Zhang Dali, C-Space, Beijing, China
Re-visioning History, OV gallery, Shanghai, China
Reshaping History- China Art from 2000-2009, National Conference Centre, Beijing, China
China’s Soul, Magda Danysz Gallery, Paris, France

Chasing Flames, Eli Klein Fine Art, New York
Calligraffiti: ‘Writing’ in Contemporary Chinese and Chicano Art," Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA
Re-imaging Asia, The New Art Gallery, Walsall, UK
Stairway to Heaven:From Chinese Streets to Monuments and Skyscrappers, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO
Chinese Prints, Pace Prints, New York, NY
The Very Condition, Wall Art Museum, Beijing, China
Images From History, Shenzhen Art Museum, Shenzen, China
Collision, Central Academy Of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing China
Transforming Traditions, Victoria H. Myhren gallery, University Of Denver, CO
From Style Writing To Art- Street Art Group Show, 18 Gallery Shanghai, China

Five Years Of Duolun, Shanghai Duolun Museum Of Modern Art, Shanghai, China
The Revolution Continues: New Art From China, Saatchi Gallery, London
Logan Collection, San Francisco MOMA, CA
China Gold, Musee Maillol, Paris, France
Zhang Dali and Shen Shaomin, Eli Klein Fine Art, New York, NY
The Avant Garde in the 80’s and 90’s of the last Century in China, Groningen Museum, Netherlands
Re-Imaging Asia:Asian Coordinates, House Of World Cultures, Berlin, Germany

Unexpected: Out Of Control, Ku Art Center , Beijing, China
All of our Tomorrows: The Culture of Camouflage,” Kunstraum der Universität, Lünenburg, Germany
China Now, Cobra Museum of Modern Art, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Red Hot, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
Three Unitary,” DDM, Shanghai, China
“La Cina e’ vicina,” Mediterranea Gallery, Palermo, Italy
Past Forward,” Oriental Vista Art Collections, Shanghai, China

China Now, Essl Museum, Vienna, Austria
Radar: Selections from the Collection of Kent and Vicki Logan,” Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
Fever Variations, 6th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea
Red Star, 798 Factory Red Star Gallery, Beijing, China
Great Performance, Max Protetch, New York, NY

Wall,” Millennium Museum, Beijing, China
Mayfly,” Beijing Commune Gallery, Beijing, China
The Game of Realism,” Beijing Commune Gallery, Beijing, China
Chinese Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition,” Museum Beelden aan Zee, Scheveningen, Netherlands

Between Past and Future, International Center for Photography, New York
Regeneration, Samek Art Gallery, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, USA
Me!Me!Me! CourtYard Gallery, Beijing, China

Festival Internazionale di Roma, L'Officina-Arte del Borghetto, Rome, Italy
The Logan Collection, Denver Art Museum, Denver

New Photography From China, The CourtYard Gallery, Beijing, China
The First Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
Asia in the World, ARCO, Madrid, Spain

China Art Now, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
Contemporary Chinese Photography, Finland Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland
HOT POT, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo Norway

Dialogue, ShangHai, CourtYard Gallery, Beijing, China
AK-47, CourtYard Gallery, Beijing, China
FUCK OFF, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai, China
Artistes Contemporains Chinois, Museedes Tapisseries, Aix-en-Provence, France

Transparence Opacite?, Valle d’Aosta, Italy
Food for Thought, Eindhoven, Holland
Beijing in London ICA, London

Chinese Contemporary Gallery, London
Lehman College, New York
11th Tallinn Triannual, Tallinn Estonia

Academy of Fine Arts, Gallery of the National Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing

Goethe Institute Gallery, Torino, Italy

Graphic Arts Experimentation Laboratory, Bologna, Italy