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Her Body Doesn't Fit Her Soul


Curated by Alexandra Grimmer 
2023.02.02. - 2023.02.25.
Loft 8 Gallery, Vienna

Zhang Wenrong’s paintings are delicate and ambiguous, narrating the complex relationship between an individual and fast-changing China, world concerns, and the myriad of confusions around us. His work attempts to tackle difficult issues without following a straightforward storyline. From 2011-2014 the artist realised three animated films and created works such as Territory, which employed a combined language of image and sound to present a portrait of our time. Water, is a large-scale project which Zhang completed in 2016 with more than 12,000 people participating in the process. Through this lively interaction, the artist explored the unpredictabilities of the situation and opened up a fresh new way of artmaking.

Unlike many others, Zhang Wenrong is someone who does not shy away from dealing with difficult things and with faulty circumstances. He never looks away, but rather investigates and researches.Images in newspapers and the social networks often serve him to establish the content of his works, which masterfully convey the prevailing mood in times of crisis or the uncovering of difficult matters without pointing fingers. During the working process, it is often cruelty that finds its way into his pictures, which, like scenes from films mixed with mystical images, deliver a conglomeration of densely loaded content.


In addition to a captivating narrative line, they allow for the most diverse interpretations. His pictures have a special effect on their viewers: no matter what situation is outlined in them, they contain a very special beauty of their own. If one tries to get to the bottom of this, various points of view, from a combination of shock, gloomy romance to delightful colouring, open up.


Conformity is what Zhang can probably never be accused of. He counts a narrow circle of collectors among his admirers and patrons and has never sought to create content or imagery that would receive recognition from the general public.  This criterion of a certain unwieldiness, alongside his outstanding talent for creating tense scenes, is probably what makes him a predestined artist for the BMCA collection. As Li Xianting stated many years ago, it is the task of art to serve a purpose in addition to aesthetic value or decoration. Especially in the recent years of crisis and the increased striving for security and easy forms, it is particularly important to point to art that challenges and captivates the viewer through complex content.


On 2 February, Zhang Wenrong's solo exhibition opens at Loft 8 Gallery in Vienna. After two extensive exhibitions last summer in Munich, it is the first presence of Blue Mountain Contemporary Art since moving its base from Beijing to Vienna.

In 2014, Zhang was also part of the BMCA-hosted exhibition "The Future is the Past" in Vienna, curated by Wei Xing, at the time still organised from China. He is one of the first artists to be made visible through the BMCA platform, such as in his solo exhibition at the Today Art Museum in 2014.


Loft 8 Gallery's open attitude and interest in international positions makes it the ideal venue and partner for this - and subsequent BMCA Collection projects throughout the year.

Zhang Wenrong will be in Vienna for the opening and also the time during his exhibition.

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