Xi’an, with its popular Burried Army from Qing Dynasty, is the flagship of China History. Hence, contemporary art was not expected in this part of China. However, we met Zhang Chi and we could not resist to its strong desire of expression.
Zhang Chi grew up in Xi’an and studied Architecture. However, thanks to the great talent of his father in oil painting, he developed amazing skills in this field.
The willing of Zhang Chi is to deliver the truth. Thus, his paintings are rough and full of strength because they succeed to seize the violence of humanity. All his emotions are captured in the fixed painting, frustration, anger or sadness and let the spectator voiceless ; even sometimes chocked facing so much presence, which reminds Chaim Soutine violence or Rembrandt expressionism.
Natacha (60*50), 2009
In his huge painting “Invisible Man”, seven large open jackets greet the visitors. From the front, even with no one inside, they look inhabited by an astonishing human presence. Matter, thick, worked to the extreme, made them as alive as human flesh to such a point that a feeling of shamelessness escaped from these textiles deprived of their humanity.
Invisible Man (270*90), 2011
This painting was exhibited in Autumn Salon at Champs Elysée, Paris, in 2012.
Grandpa (70*53), 2012
With the evolution of time and his style, bodies progressively disappear, to let the darkness invade them. The tortured faces reflect Bacon’s paintings, but, unlike Bacon, the background of Zhang Chi is getting more and more importance, and even matter.
Kiss (89*81), 2014
Gradually, the portraits lose their importance, as if the reality and what the artist is looking for was more present in the background itself. In 2015, portraits totally disappeared, and Zhang Chi entered in the world of abstract painting.
At this step, he reconnects with Chinese art and philosophy. His paintbrush is guided by its intuition, as for painters from Song Dynasty, when a landscape was appearing by the spirit of their brush and not by their mind.
He started a new series “About Materials” combining different materials as Caparol, Chinese ink, Glue, Oil painting and Acrylic. Juxtaposing them, Zhang Chi redefines the landscapes that surround us, he creates some fragments that remind the city, the sea or the stone. Those landscapes are decomposed and destroyed as he fragmented his portraits before. The materials themselves become expression, which metaphors the establishment of a new order after chaos.
Fragments of city (108*76), 2015
Vastness 2 (98*130), 2018
Zhang Chi is looking for understanding the materials in his paintings, by all means. Hence, his artworks are in a perpetual evolution. Sometimes, he decides to burn one part, to use the ashes for another work. Sometimes, he peels some parts of paint off to recreate something different. His willing is to express the same feeling in front of his painting, with less and less materials. With this minimalist concept, he left behind him some traces that express all the power remaining behind life.
Trace 2 (78*110), 2016
In one of his last works, called “About the Space”, he let appear one trace on three different silk layers. Each trace is made with one specific materials, which provides a specific trait, as Vigor, Spirit and Qi, inspired by Taoism and its indispensable elements.
Then combining, the three transparent layers, Zhang Chi creates a three-dimensional space, where each part exists independently. Furthermore, the combination highlights the relationship and the balance between each trace and the others, as positive and negative angles, strength and weakness, emptiness and fullness.
Trinity (55*78), 2018
1984 Born in Xi’an
Since 2011 Teacher of Architecture in Architecture and Technology University of Xi’an.
2017 3rd Festival of Art and Culture in Shanxi Province, Xi’an
“Paths of the Soul”, Movie exhibition, Shanghai
2016 « Moitié visage” Xi’an, Chine
2nd Festival of Art and Culture in Shanxi Province, Xi’an
2015 “Asian nostalgia” Xi’an, Chine
2014 International Autumn Salon, Tokyo
2013 SARRIA, International Art Salon, Spain
2012 “Les Hivernales”, Montreuil, France
Autumn Salon at Champs Elysée, Paris
Asia Art Expo, Haikou and Dalian., Pékin.
2011 Autumn Salon at Champs Elysée, Paris
Collective exhibition at 770 Gallery, Paris, France
2nd Biennale of Art and Literature at Caire, Egypte.
2010 Exhibition Mail-Art / Art postal 2010, Paris, France
Salon des artistes indépendants at Grand Palais, Paris, France
2008 Solo Exhibition of oil painting during the Chinise culture week, Clermont-Ferrand, France