Zhang Haiying

Zhang Haiying's Anti-Vice Series is based on Internet photographs of young women caught up in the Chinese government's efforts to purge the city of prostitution and pornography. The highly publicized campaign to "eliminate vice and illegal publications" focuses on the apprehension and detention of young women such as these, who are among the most powerless of the country's citizens. Victimized on one hand by gangs and threatened with fines and prison by authorities on the other, they are often paraded through streets to face insults and ridicule.

Zhang is not attempting to present a case for the decriminalization of prostitution, but as an artist, hopes instead to portray their frail humanity and the sympathy their shame evokes. The series examines the anguish of the purge, from the crime itself to arrest and detention. Taken as a whole, Anti-Vice paintings reflect an awkward condition in contemporary Chinese society.

Zhang Haiying's Anti-Vice Campaign series takes as its subject the Chinese government's recent initiatives in eradicating prostitution and pornography. Executed on monumental scale and in faux social realist style Zhang's paintings use the devices of propaganda for non-politicised means: his works neither advocate nor criticise illicit activity, but draw from the associated issues of power, exclusion, vulnerability, and perception to create images of emotive discord.

Finding his source material on the internet, Zhang translates photographic images with subtle painterly manipulations to enhance mass media aesthetics and its conflicting messaging. His tones - dramatic reds over cold greys - allude to both authoritative iconography and strip club sleaze, while his stylised figures are made to look strangely hyper-real, like computer generated avatars, or celebrities overexposed in paparazzi swarms; women objectified by their equally desirable and degrading portrayal.

Zhang renders these scenes with a master's craftsmanship. Hair, flesh, fabric, objects are constructed as self-contained elements, their individual treatment creating a sense of isolation and disunity in the collage effect. His super-pop sheen is exaggerated through painterly veracity: camera blurs, print bleeds, and flash bulb glares are faithfully replicated by brushwork which borders on abstraction. In Series 005 the night vision video effect is perfectly replicated by impassioned smears and smudges, simulating photo realism with intuitive spontaneity.

Behind each of these paintings is a complex story: of destitution, desperation, abuse and entrapment, side effects of economics, migration, and progress; the human costs of commodity culture. By recontextualising the way prostitution is represented and perceived, Zhang's paintings strive to convey the human condition, with all its indignities and weaknesses, as a duplicitous victimisation of both the oppressed and oppressors

Works

Biography

1972

Born in Shandong, China

1997

Graduated From Shandong Art Institute, Shandong, China

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2012

Anti-vice Scene•Zhang Haiying Solo Exhibition at China International Gallery Expo (CIGE), Soemo Fine Arts, Beijing, China

2009

Zhang Haiying Solo Show, Amsterdam, Holland

2008

Anti-Vice•Zhang Haiying Solo Show, Willem Kerseboom Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland

2005

Dancing In The Soul•Zhang Haiying Oil Painting Exhibition, Beijing, China

Selected Group Eexhibitions

2016

Singapore Contemporary Art Show(Asia Contemporary Art Show Singapore), Singapore

Asia Contemporary Art Show Hong Kong 2016, Hong Kong

Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong 2016

2015

Soemo Fine Arts Collection ExhibitionSoemo Fine Arts, Beijing, China

Asia Contemporary Art Show Hong Kong 2015, Hong Kong

2014

Gan Art Exhibition, Paris-London-Belgium Tour Art Show

Aff Hong Kong, Hong Kong

2013

Twenty Two Gallery Show, Lyon France

Excited Changes • New Spirit Artworks, Contemporary Art Museum, Beijing, China

2011

SH Contemporary Art Fair 2011, by Soemo Fine Arts, Beijing, China

2010

Beyond The Broken Skin, Soemo Fine Arts, Beijing, China

2009

Red Man Meet Sinful Ladies of the night, Soemo Fine Arts, Beijing, China

2008

Empty, Soemo Fine Arts, Beijing, China

The Revolution Continues•New Chinese Art, Saatchi-gallery, London, UK

Art Basel, Basel, Swiss

Art Amsterdam 2008, Willem Kerseboom Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland

Art Asia Miami, U.S.A

Go China•Amsterdam and Groningen-Chinese Contemporary Art, Richard Ter Borg Gallery, Groningen, Holland

2007

Standpoint-Contemporary Art Exhibition, Soemo-Fine-Arts, Beijing, China

Artour-O Art Exhibition, Florence, Italy

Move Away From Songzhuang Art Circuit Exhibition, Beijing-Shanghai-Jinan-Shenyang, China

Art-Beijing 2007 Contemporary Art Exposition, Beijing, China

2006

1st Songzhuang Multimedia Exhibition, Beijing, China

Out Of The Heaven•3rd Songzhuang Artists Visual Art Exhibition, Beijing, China

2005

Out Of The Heaven•2nd Songzhuang Artist Visual Art Exhibition, Beijing, China

Sovereign Asia Art Foundation Art Exhibition, Hong-Kong

Chinese Symbol•Chinese Artist Group Exhibition, France

Nice Destruction•Contemporary Art Exhibition, Beijing, China

Splendid China, Beijing, China

1st Songzhuang Art Festival, Song Zhuang, Beijing, China

Hearsay•Contemporary Art Show, Beijing, China