Zhang Jian is a Chinese artist born in 1966 in Ninghai of Zhejiang Province. In his youth, he studied under prominent painters including Gao Cihua, Zhao Zhiqian, Yang Xiangxuan, and Zhu Kaiyi. He then went on to study painting at the China Academy of Fine Arts focusing on landscape painting and calligraphy, specializing in Qin Jian and cursive script. From the 1980’s onward, Zhang has consistently shown his work in prominent exhibitions across the globe including the Shanghai Art Fair, Yanhuang Art Museum, Sugarbox Gallery in Sweden, the Venice Biennale, and other group and solo exhibitions across China, Australia, Canada and the US.
Zhang’s work utilizes traditional Chinese materials and themes to magnify the Chinese perspective in Western discourse. His work alternates between being both reminiscent and unfamiliar to the eye, aiming to use conventional imagery to evoke new paradigms within a familiar context. According to Zhang, traditional Chinese ink paintings present a temporal version of China to the West, and through his work he seeks to reimagine that vision.