Zhang Dali

Zhang Dali's new "Slogan" paintings continue his political symbolism known best in "Chinese Offspring". Cliché slogans as current as the Beijing Olympics slogan, "One World One Dream", as stereotypical as "Support the lead of the Party", or as subversive as an intense repeating of "AK47", were spelled out with black and white Chinese characters into big portraits of Chinese migrant workers. "Slogan" delivers a multi-layered but almost effortless political metaphor. Seen from a distance, the faces seem as banal, clichéd as the slogans, and the slogans as trivial and negligible as the common faces.

Zhang Dali's works seem to be staying in line with his own expressive methods dating back to his early graffiti works. His massive but passive aggressive uses of clichéd cultural symbols keep portraying the same kind of massive passive aggressiveness in contemporary Chinese society. Migrant workers' faces in "slogan" looked harsh and lifeless, neither resentful nor joyful. The repeating of slogans used in each painting enhances the feeling of a deadly massiveness made by the masses. Zhang Dali once said that he thought there was something heroic about migrant workers. Yet the heroism shown in his works can only be seen as tragic heroism, after being repressed, assimilated and objectified. What we see most in Zhang Dali's works are the passive status of human beings, while political symbols often take the lead as the subjective.




Born in Harbin


Graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Beijing, China

Selected Solo Exhibitions


"Second History," Luxun Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Shenyang, China


"Zhang Dali Retrospective," Eli Klein Fine Art, New York, NY


"New Slogan," Eli Klein Fine Art, New York, NY

"World's Shadows," Pékin Fine Arts, Beijing, China

"Demolition: Second History," The Charles Shain Library, Connecticut College, New London, CT


"Zhang Dali Solo Show," Magda Danysz / Bund 18 Gallery, Shanghai, China

"Extreme Reality," Tank Loft, Chongqing Contemporary Art Center, Chonqing, China

"Zhang Dali: A Second History," Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China


Pervasion-Works by Zhang Dali (1995-2008), He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, China

A Second History, Shenzhi Art Center, Beijing, China


Slogans, Kiang Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia

The Road to Freedom, Hongxin Gallery, Beijing, China


Zhang Dali Solo Exhibition, Chinese Contemporary Gallery, New York, USA


Sublimation - A New Project by Zhang Dali, Walsh Gallery, Chicago, USA


The game of Realism, Beijing Commune Gallery, Beijing, China

Mayfly, Beijing Commune Gallery, Beijing, China


Headlines, Chinese Contemporary Art Gallery, London, UK

Base Gallery, Tokyo, Japan


AK-47, Courtyard Gallery, Beijing, China

Dialogue-Shanghai, Courtyard Gallery, Shanghai, China


Chinese Contemporary Gallery, London

Demolition and Dialogue, Courtyard Gallery, Beijing & Shenzhen


Peter Dunsch Gallerie, Essen, Germany


Galleria Studio 5, Bologna


Galleria dei Tribunali, Bologna


Rocca Municipale, Montefiorino, Italy


La Rupe Gallery, Bologna


National Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China

Selected Group Exhibitions


 "The Nature of Things", Gallery Magda Danysz Shanghai, China

"Hot Pot: A Taste of Contemporary Chinese Art," Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, Brattleboro, VT

"RE-INK: Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary Ink Wash Painting 2000 - 2012," Hubei Museum of Art, Wuhan, Hubei, China; Today Art Museum, Beijing, China 

"Incarnations," Institut Confucius des Pays de la Loire d'Angers, Angers, France

"FUCK OFF 2," The Groniger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands

"Voice of the Unseen: Chinese Independent Art 1797/Today," Arsenale Nord, Venice, Italy

"Chinese Independent Art Exhibition: Never Presented Voices," Venice, Italy

"Dialogue and Demolition," Photo Phnom Penh 2013, Chinese House, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

"Individual Growth - Momentum of Contemporary Art," Tianjin Art Museum, Tianjin, China

"Aure and Post Aura," The First Beijing Photography Biennale, China Millennium Monument, Beijing, China


"Faking It: Manipulating Photography Before Photoshop," The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

"Body Double: The Figure in Contemporary Sculpture," The Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, MI

"OMEN 2012 - Chinese New Art," Shanghai Art Museum (Meishuguan), Shanghai, China

"Raze," Peking Fine Arts, Beijing, China

"The Unseen," The 4th Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China


"Self Camera," Changwon Asia Art Festival, Seongsan Art Hall, Changwon, South Korea

"Speech Matters," The 54th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

"The Life and Death of Buildings," Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ

"New Photography 2011," The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

"Start from the Horizon: Chinese Contemporary Sculpture Since 1978," Sishang Art Museum, Beijing, China

Guanxi: Contemporary Chinese Art," Today Art Museum, Beijing, China; Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China

"Scenes from Within: Contemporary Art from China," Blackbridge Hall Gallery, Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA

"Black and White," Zero Art Museum, Beijing, China

"Relationship," Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China

"The Evolving Art," Academy of Arts & Design at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China


"The Original Copy: Photography of a Sculpture, 1839 to Today," The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

"Exhibition Exhibition," Castello di Rivoli Museo di Arte Contemporanea, Turin, Italy

"Is the World Real?" 6th Lianzhou International Photo Festival, Lianzhou, China

"Four Dimensions," Hong Kong Photo Festival, Hong Kong

"Zhang Dali:  A Second History," 41st Edition of Les Recontres d'Arles," Espace Van Gogh, Arles, France

"A Decade-Long Exposure," Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing, China

"Dimensionality," Red Star Gallery, Beijing, China

"Great Performance," Pace Beijing, 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 - Chinart from 2000-2009," National Conference Center, Beijing, China

"China's Soul," Magda Danysz Gallery, Paris, France


"Quadrilogy: Conflicting Tales: Subjectivity," DAAD Gallery, Berlin, Germany

"Chasing Flames," Eli Klein Fine Art, New York, NY

"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 Skyscrapers," 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, Shenzhen, China

"Collision," Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing, China

"Transforming Traditions," Victoria H. Myhren Gallery, University of Denver, Denver, CO

"From Style Writing to Art - Street Art Group Show," 18 Gallery, Shanghai, China


Re-Imagining Asia, Der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany

Face East: Chinese Contemporary Art, Robischon Gallery, Denver, USA

Among the Ruins: Re-Imagining Architectural Decay, Space 301, Mobile, USA


Saatchi Gallery, London Individual Eras, Chinese Contemporary Gallery, Beijing, China

RED HOT - Asian Art Today from the Chaney Family Collection, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA

Zhu Yi! Chinese Contemporary Photography, ARTIUM de Alaca, Spain


China now - Kunst in Zeiten des Umbruchs, Sammlung Essl - Kunsthaus, Klosterneuburg


The Wall, Millennium Museum, Beijing, China

XIANFENG:Chinese Contemporary Sculpture exhibition, Museum Beelden aan Zee, Holland


Triennial of Photography, ICP, New York, USA

Summer Exhibition, Chinese Contemporary Art Gallery, London, UK

Me!Me!Me!, The Court Yard Gallery, Beijing, China

Inaugural Exhibition, Chinese Contemporary Beijing, China

Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China, International Center for Photography, New York, USA

Regeneration, Samek Art Gallery, Bucknell Univ., Lewisburg, PA, & touring USA


Left Hand - Right Hand, 798 Space, Beijing, China

Festival Internazionale di Roma, L'Officina-Arte del Borghetto Rome, Italy

China-Germany Art, factory 798, Beijing, China

The Logan Collection, Denver Art Museum, Denver, USA


The Second Pingyao International Photography Festival, Shanxi Province, China

New Photography from China, Beijing, China

Nan Xiao Jie Demolition Moving Exhibition, Nan Xiao Jie, Beijing, China

A Decade of Experimental Chinese Art, Guangzhou Triennial Guangdong Museum of Art, Er-Sha Island, Guangzhou, China

Asian Party, Global Game, Chinese Contemporary at ARCO Madrid, Spain


Cross Pressures, Oulu City Art Museum, Finland

Hot Pot, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway

China Art Now, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

Contemporary Chinese Photography, Finland Museum of Photography, Helsinki & Oulu Art Museum, Oulu

Group Exhibition, Courtyard Gallery, Beijing, China

Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

Osaka Triennale, Osaka - awarded the Bronze Medal


Summer Group Exhibition, Chinese Contemporary Gallery, London, UK

Dystopia+Identity in the age of Global Communication, Tribes Gallery, New York, USA

Fuck Off, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai, China

Everyday Attitude, Upriver Gallery, Chengdu, China

Serendipity, The Japan Foundation Asia Center, Tokyo, Japan

Food as Art, Club Vogue, Beijing, China

Thought Brand Meat Mincer (performance), Dongsi 8 Tiao, Beijing, China

Artistes Contemporains Chinois, Musee des Tapisseries, Aix-en-Provence

Anthropology of the Landscape, Lang Island, Guilin, China

Transparence, Opacite?ACAVA-De Martken, Brussels


Beijing in London, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, UK

Food for Thought, Mu Art Foundation, Eindhoven, the Netherlands

Contemporary Chinese Art, Literature & Culture, Bard College, New York, USA

Group exhibition, Cypress College & BC Space Gallery, Cypress, California, USA

Contemporary Chinese Photography, Chulalongkom Museum, Bangkok, Thailand

Departure from China (The World is Yours - performance), Design Museum, Beijing, China

Unveiled Reality, Art Beatus Gallery, Vancouver

Corruptionists, Beijing, China


Green Dog and Masters, Chinese Contemporary, London, UK

China Art Gallery, Beijing, China

11th Tallinn Triennial, Tallinn, Estonia

Lehman College, New York, USA

P-House Gallery, Tokyo, Japan


National Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China


Goethe Institute Gallery, Torino

Graphic Arts Experimentation Laboratory Mario Leoni Deborah, Bologna


Neon Gallery, Bologna

Spazio Navile Gallery, Bologna