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.

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