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Zhang Guangyu : Portfolio

Let’s start from the beginning: when did you first discover your passion for art?

Interestingly enough, I started making art as a young child simply because my parents would not let me play videogames. I needed an outlet, and as far as I was concerned art was that outlet. At this point my parents were under the impression that I loved drawing, but as far as I remembered the truth of the matter is that I just needed that creative outlet. This was throughout my early early childhood, but I remember first discovering a real “passion” for art I guess you could say at around the age of 8. My parents enrolled me in an art class by that time, and what I can vividly recall is the first time coming to witness something on this 2D piece of paper come to life as a 3D image. That was it for me, it was like a moment of epiphany or something, like it opened up pandora’s box of possibilities for me to explore.

So do you treat art as a technical pursuit?, or are you more inclined to pursue themes in expression or creativity.

At the end of the day, art to me is a process of using a combination of techniques and mediums to communicate my sense of self. Much of my imagery are an eclectic combination of Oriental and European elements, because I am a Chinese person who was educated in London. Much of my imagery are created digitally, because these are the times I grew up in. I see my role as an artist to be that of a purveyer of culture. To fulfill that role, ultimately you can say that all my art is a pursuit of understanding my identity in the world.

What inspires you in this pursuit?

I find that it’s always a delicate balance an artist must find between being inspired by the external world vs. being inspired by our internal thoughts. Sometimes I take inspiration from the people and events in human history. Other times I take inspiration from a certain affect that a visual medium can have on its viewer.

Was there anybody in your life or from art history who you consider to have influenced on your art?

I actually believe that artists need to be really careful not to be too influenced by others when it comes to art. This really goes back to what we were just saying about understanding my sense of self. I think much of my approach is a sort of backlash against the Chinese art education that I received early on in life, which was very much focused on the techical skills of sketching and representational arts. When I studied in London, I discovered that art could really be much more of a tool for expression and a medium for creativity, and that notion was extremely attractive to me and informed much of my current philosophies. I tend to think that whether it’s the old masters we see in art history or it’s the mentors we encounter in our own lives, ultimately these people made it because they carved their own paths in the world, and the most important thing for any artist is to be pursue doing the same for himself.

Zhang Guangyu

Born 1987 in Shanghai China. Lives and works in Shanghai China


2012     BFA with Honors, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, London UK

2009     Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing China


2017     Photo X Prize, finalist artist, London UK

2014     Close to Culture, TV interview on Hong Kong CTV, Hong Kong China

2013     ArtGemini Prize, finalist artist, London UK

Group Exhibitions

2017      Timeless, Lemon Frame Art Gallery, Tel Aviv Israel

Asian Young Artists Art Festival, Dongdaemum Design Plaza, Seoul South Korea

2016      Between Reality and Imagination, Lemon Frame Art Gallery, Tel Aviv Israel

Art in the City, Chi K11 Art Museum, Shanghai China

2015     Celebrate No Boundaries, Shou Gallery, Zug Switzerland

Art Light Up Fashion, Gallery Different, London UK

2014     Source - August Texture and Collage, Tate Britain, London UK

Continental Shift, Saatchi Gallery, London UK

ArtGemini Prize 2013 Finalists Exhibition, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London UK

2013     Open 2013, Bohunk Institute Gallery, Nottingham UK

Showcase City, Rich Mix London, London UK

2012     70 Artists 7 Days, Mile End Art Pavilion, London UK

Summer Show, Central Saint Martins, London UK

2011     Shenyang Art Fair, Venue, Shenyang China

Very Un-kettle’s Yard, Kettle’s Yard Gallery (House), Cambridge UK

Dragons in the Lion’s Den, Forman’s Smokehouse Gallery, London UK

2010     Montage, Trinity Buoy Wharf, London UK

Solo Exhibitions

2016     Fashion Salutes Art, Woolff Gallery, London UK

Burst Into Life, Popsy Room, Hong Kong China

2015     Mechanical Phantasy, A Style Gallery, Hong Kong China

2014     Secret Jungle, A Style Gallery, Hong Kong China

The Oriental Memory Series

The Stone Monkey Series

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