Zhang Huan

VIDEO: “To Raise the Water Level in a Fishpond” June 05 @ 7pm Nightingale part of Captive Anatomies

06:08 | 1997

In the summer of 1997, I created To Raise the Water Level in a Fishpond. I invited more than forty immigrant workers in Beijing to participate. Some worked in moving companies and construction while others sold fish. The piece has three parts. First, we circled the pond with five to six meters between each person and faced the pond in silence. Next, we raised the water level of the pond. For the final part, we stood as a human wall to divide the fishpond in two. I had created pieces related to mountains, so I wanted to make some related to water; this work fulfilled that desire.

photos courtesy Zhang Huan Studio

Zhang Huan (China) was born in 1965 in China. He currently lives and works in Shanghai. He was considered one of the foremost avant-garde artists in the nation. From 1998 to 2005 he lived in New York where he gained international recognition. In 2005, he returned to Shanghai and continued to expand his artistic works, creating new forms and exploring into new areas. The ash painting technique he created has added another method of painting to art history. Other techniques, such as sculpting in ox-hide, door carvings, and feather woodcuts, to name a few have all been pioneered by the artist.