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Wanxin Zhang

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Birthplace
Changchun, China

Birth year
1961

Lives in
San Francisco

Works in
San Francisco

Website

Representing galleries

Current Exhibitions and Events
Jul, 2014 Survival
Turner Carroll Gallery
 
Statement

Bio

Wanxin Zhang was born and educated in China. He graduated from the prestigious LuXun Academy of Fine Art with a focus in Sculpture. In 1992, after Wanxin Zhang established his art career as a sculptor in China, he relocated to San Francisco with his family. There, he received his Masters in Fine Arts from the Academy of Art University. As a studio sculptor and educator, Zhang is a first place recipient of the Virginia A. Groot Foundation Grant in 2006, and the Joan Mitchell Grant in 2004. His sculptures have been shown in San Francisco, New York City, Seattle, Santa Fe, and Miami, as well as abroad in Japan, China, and Canada. Zhang has had many solo museum exhibitions, including ones at the University of Wyoming Art Museum, Boise Art Museum in Idaho, Arizona State University Art Museum, Fresno Art Museum in California, The Alden B. Dow Museum of Science & Art in Michigan, Bellevue Arts Museum in Washington, and Holter Museum of  Art in Montana. His works have been selected to be included in Confrontational Ceramics by Judith Schwartz, and can be found in major art magazines such as "Art News," “Art in America,” “Sculpture,” and “American Ceramics.” Zhang has many public collections, and his private collectors are located both nationally and internationally.

Zhang currently lives and works in San Francisco, and is also a lecturer at the Department of Art Practice at University of California, Berkeley.

Statement

My sculptures are inspired from the Qin Dynasty’s Terra-cotta warriors. In the third century BC, Shi Huang Di (246– 210 BC), the first Chinese emperor, ordered the building of the Army underneath Xian, to maintain his dignity and to protect him in the next life. Today, two thousand years later, as an artist, I am digging out new Terra-cotta warriors from my mind. I am not recreating these warriors as a comparison to the original army with its style, form, or sense of magnificence; instead, I am rebuilding them with the artistic language of soulfulness, spirituality, and personality. To put it concisely, I am giving the warriors new lives.

Many years ago, when I was standing in front of the Qin warriors at the museum in Xian, I was truly shocked by the large scope of the scene. From then on, I have always asked myself, “Who were they? Why are they standing here?” Even though the Qin warriors have thousands of gestures and hundreds of poses, they all have the same occupation, and that is to guard the emperor in his burial compound. Furthermore, not only did these warriors become burial accompaniments, the thousands of conscripts who spent years completing the tomb also became forever enclosed in the mausoleum. When the first pit of Terra-cotta warriors was discovered in in 1974, followed subsequently by the excavation of the next three pits, these compounds immediately became important archaeological finds in Chinese history. But to me, from the perspective of an artist, these discoveries represent evidence of a feudal political tragedy.

To revitalize the warriors has always been my art dream. I exercise my artistic authority to use a romantic imagination and compassionate conception to express a new genre of warriors. Along with this resurrection, my warriors have in them the essences of you, me, and everyone. They are poets, doctors, fathers, and heroes living among us. Stripped of their armors and weapons, they are holding flowers, skateboards, books, and children. They will also always have imprinted on them the marks of history. Each statue is filled with questions, confusion, deep thoughts, sense of humor and contemporary concepts. And yet they are all individuals with their own characteristics. They are all keeping their own integrity and dignity. I use the same materials and creation process as the conscripts who created the original Qin Terra-cotta army, but with the distinct differences in facial expressions, gestures, and physical attributes, I am depicting a new phenomenon. My art is about finding a dialogue within ourselves in history, politics, and the society.

 

Wanxin Zhang CV


1961 born, Changchun, China

Education

1996-pres Instructor, Academy of Art University San Francisco, California
1992-96 Academy of Art University, MFA Sculpture, San Francisco, California
1985-92 Assistant Professor, Jilin Art College, Changchun City, China
1980-85 Luxun Institute of Fine Art, BFA Sculpture, Sheng Yang City, Liao Ning Province, China
1978-80 Art School of Jilin, Diploma of Fine Art, Changchun City, Jilin Province, China

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2012 Art Beatus Gallery, "Wanxin Zhang's New Works" Hong Kong, China
Richmond Art Center, Main Gallery, ( A Ten Year Survey) Richmond, California
Holter Museum of Art, High Gallery, (A Ten Year Survey) Helena, Montana
2011 Pacini Lubel Gallery, "Wanxin Zhang" Seattle, Washington
Bellevue Arts Museum, (A Ten Year Survey) Bellevue, Washington
2010 Arizona State University Art Museum, “A Ten Year Survey: 1999-2009” Tempe, Arizona
Boise Art Museum Boise, Idaho
The Art Center St. Petersburg, Florida
Udinotti Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona “Wanxin’s New Works” Scottsdale, Arizona
Mindy Solomon Gallery, “Wanxin Zhang 2010” St. Petersburg, Florida
2009 University of San Francisco, Thacher Gallery, “Wanxin Zhang New Sculptures”
University of San Francisco, Kalmanovitz Hall--Sculpture Terrace
University of San Francisco, Kalmanovitz Hall--Atrium
Sonoma State University, University Art Gallery, “Contemporary Warriors” Rohnert Park, California
Udinotti Gallery, “Wanxin Zhang: Ceramic Sculptures” Scottsdale, Arizona
2008 Art Beatus Gallery, "Pit #5: My Nation” (catalog) Hong Kong, China
"Wanxin Zhang 2008," Byron Cohen Contemporary Art Gallery Kansas City, Missouri
"Pit #5, Shifting Dreams," Bedford Gallery Walnut Creek, California
"Pit #5, Michigan," The Alden B. Dow Museum of Science & Art, Midland, Michigan
Midland Art Center
2006 "Wanxin Zhang's New Works," Bernice Steinbaum Gallery Miami, Florida
"Pit #5 Laramie, 2006," University of Wyoming Art Museum (catalog) Laramie, Wyoming
2004 "Figures of the Future‘s Past - Pit #5," Bernice Steinbaum Gallery Miami, Florida
2002 "Ceramic Sculpture," Triangle Gallery (catalog) San Francisco, California
2001 "Treasures of China--A Dialogue," Vorpal Gallery San Francisco, California
1997 "Wanxin Zhang 1997," Space 303 San Francisco, California
1997 "Breaking Out," Chinese Cultural Center San Francisco, California
1996 "Dialogue," MFA Graduate Show, San Francisco, California
Academy of Art University Sculpture Center
1995 "Rhythm," World Journal Art Gallery Millbrae, California
1997 "Breaking Out," Chinese Cultural Center San Francisco, California
1996 "Dialogue," MFA Graduate Show, San Francisco, California
Academy of Art University Sculpture Center
1995 "Rhythm," World Journal Art Gallery Millbrae, California

Selected Group Exhibitions

2012 "What is a rabbit" John Natsoulas Gallery Davis, California
2011 "Across the Divide" University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Whitewater, Wisconsin
Crossman Gallery Then traveling to: University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas.
"Faculty Show'' Department of Art Practice Berkeley, California
Worth Ryder Gallery, UC Berkeley
''Beyond Tradition: Art Legacies at the Richmond Art Center, Part II" Richmond, California
''Thirty Artist" Invitational Exhibition, John Natsoulas Gallery Davis, California
2010 Turner Carroll Gallery, "West Coast Contemporary" Santa Fe, New Mexico
2009 "Glimpses: Contemporary Ceramics” Pacini Lubel Gallery Seattle, Washington
"Nine Lives: Dog Day of the Summer” Bernice Steinbaum Gallery Miami, Florida
2008 "Wyoming Invitational” University of Wyoming Laramie, Wyoming
“Spirit and Form” Triton Museum of Art Santa Clara, California
“A Human Impulse: Figuration from the Diane and Sandy Tempe, Arizona
Besser Collection,” Arizona State University Art Museum (catalog)
“Artists to Watch--Asia” Turner Carroll Gallery Santa Fe, New Mexico
“Taiwan Ceramics Biennale” Taipei County Yingge Ceramics Museum Taipei, Taiwan
"13th Annual Faculty and Alumni Fine Art Auction," San Francisco, California
Academy of Art University (catalog)
2007 “Innovation & Change: Arizona State University Ceramic Collection” Fort Wayne, Indiana
Fort Wayne Museum of Art, (Nationwide traveling show) (book)
"In Your Face" Bernice Steinbaum Gallery Miami, Florida
"Clay and Brush: The Ceramic Art of China" Lowe Museum of Art Coral Gables, Florida
"What is Next?" Florida Craftsman Gallery St. Petersburg, Florida
"The 22nd UBE Biennale International Sculpture Competition" Yamaguchi, Japan
2006 "45th Anniversary" Triangle Gallery San Francisco, California
"Landscape Sculpture Design for Beijing 2008 Olympic Games" Beijing, China
2005 "Little Basil" Bernice Steinbaum Gallery Miami, Florida
"Riverbend Sculpture Biennial 2005" Owensboro Museum of Fine Arts Owensboro, Kentucky
"The Other Mainstream" Arizona State University Art Museum (catalog) Tempe, Arizona
"Palm Beach 3" Represented by Bernice Steinbaum Gallery Miami, Florida
"The 7th San Francisco International Art Expo" Byron Cohen Gallery Kansas City, Missouri
2004 "Art Basel Miami Beach" Bernice Steinbaum Gallery Miami, Florida
"It’s for the Birds" Traveling Exhibition, Miami, Florida
Bernice Steinbaum Gallery (catalog)
2003 "Across the Divide" Gatov and Werby Art Gallery Cal State (catalog) Long Beach, California
"Art Basel Miami Beach" Bernice Steinbaum Gallery Miami, Florida
"Fourth Toronto International Art Fair" Art Beatus Gallery Vancouver, Canada
"14th Annual California Conference Davis, California
for the Advancement of Ceramic Art"
"International Art Expo, Chicago" Art Beatus Gallery Vancouver, Canada
"Gallery Artists" John Elder Gallery New York, New York
2001 "Selected Artists" Triangle Gallery San Francisco, California
2000 "2000 All California Exhibition" San Diego Museum of Art San Diego, California
"Sculpture 2000" Catholic University of America Washington, D.C
1999 "New Year Celebration" Hayward Art Council Hayward, California
1998 "The Light is Diverse in California" Center for Visual Art Oakland, California
"Fifth Annual San Francisco International Art Festival" Vorpal Gallery San Francisco, California
1998 "The Light is Diverse in California" Center for Visual Art Oakland, California
"Fifth Annual San Francisco International Art Festival" Vorpal Gallery San Francisco, California
1997 "Contemporary Sculpture" Vorpal Gallery San Francisco, California
"California Clay Competition Exhibition" The Artery Gallery (catalog) Davis, California
1996 "The 21st Annual Open Show" Roseville Art Center Roseville, California
"Spring Show" Academy Of Art University San Francisco, California
"June Juries Show" Gallery Route One Point Reyes Sta., California
1995 "Gallery Artists" Triangle Gallery San Francisco, California
"The 10th International Art Exchange" San Francisco, California
Asian Art Society in America (catalog)
1990 "Asian 11th Champion Art Exhibition" International Exhibition Center Beijing, China
1989 "The 7th National Fine Art Exhibition" National Fine Art Gallery (book) Beijing, China
1987 "The 60th Anniversary Army Art Show" National Fine Art Gallery Beijing, China

Selected Collections

Academy of Art University San Francisco, California
Allen Kluger Aventura, Florida
Annie Wong Art Foundation Hong Kong, China
Arizona State University Art Museum Tempe, Arizona
Betty Marcus Palm Beach, Florida
Carleen and Nick Keating San Francisco, California
Chinese Culture Center San Francisco, California
City of Albuquerque Albuquerque, New Mexico
City of Changchun Changchun, China
City of Dalian Dalian, China
Emily Sano and Gilson Riecken San Francisco, California
George and Lynn Goldstein Santa Fe, New Mexico
H. Jason Harrison Arlington, Virginia
Fresno Art Museum Fresno, California
James J. Williams Aptos, California
Jeremy Steinbaum De Bary, Florida
Joe Chan Hong Kong, China
Joesph Farais Oakland, California
Judy and Brayton Wilbur Hillsborough, California
Lowe Museum of Art Coral Gables, Florida
Lyn and Jerry Handler New York, New York
Mady Garson Pepper Pike, Ohio
Martin and Cheryl Turchin Aspen, Colorado
Martin Zaiac Miami Beach, Florida
National Fine Art Gallery Beijing, China
New Mexico Arts Division Santa Fe, New Mexico
R.L. Realty San Francisco, California
Rosemary Barkeet Miami, Florida
Sam Plimpton Boston, Massachusetts
Sanford Besser Santa Fe, New Mexico
Saul and Hila Rosen New York, New York
Stanley and Mikki Weithorn New York, New York
State of New Mexico, NM Arts in Public Places Santa Fe, NM
Stephen Kopel San Francisco, California
UBE Tokiwa Museum Yamaguchi, Japan
University of Wyoming Art Museum Laramie, Wyoming
Virginia A. Groot Foundation Evanston, Illinois
 
Selected Grants and Awards

2006 Virginia A. Groot Foundation Sculptors Grant – 1st Place Evanston, Illinois
NEA / Warhol Foundation, University of Wyoming Laramie, Wyoming
2006 Virginia A. Groot Foundation Sculptors Grant – 1st Place Evanston, Illinois
NEA / Warhol Foundation, University of Wyoming Laramie, Wyoming
Artist-in-Residence Award
2004 The Joan Mitchell Foundation Inc. Painters and Sculptors Grant New York, New York
2000 Distinctive Merit Award, San Diego Museum of Art San Diego, California
1997 "Honorary Merit Award of the Outdoor Sculpture Search Los Altos City, California
1989 Sculpture Bronze Prize, 7th National Art Exhibition, National Art Gallery Beijing, China

Selected Reviews and Articles

2007 Mireya Hernandez "Public Art Gives New Life to Fallen Workers" Prime Time, New Mexico
2006 Susan Moldenhauer "Wanxin Zhang’s Warriors" Catalogue Essay, Wyoming Art Museum
Angela Brooks "Recreating History" 7220 Newsaper, Laramie, Wyoming, page 9
2005 Marilyn A. Zeitlin "Art and Justice" Catalogue Essay, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
Stephanie Cash Art World Awards, Art in America, March 2005 Issue
Anne Albritton Sculpture Magazine, July/August Issue, page 69
2004 Joel Weinstein "Coming Home to Roost" Bernice Steinbaum Gallery Catalogue Essay
Anne Tschida The Herald, Sunday, Miami, Florida, Nov. 24, 2004
Mark Ormond "Figures of the Future’s Past" Bernice Steinbaum Gallery Announcement Essay
2002 David Alexander "Terracotta Sculpture – A Passion for Creative Art Teacher,
Richmond Review San Francisco, California, July Issue
Frank Cebulski "Wanxin Zhang: Transcultural Figure and Tradition" Catalogue Essay,
Triangle Gallery, San Francisco, California
Christopher Newhard "The Qin Warriors on His Mind" Catalogue Essay, Triangle Gallery,
San Francisco, California
Kenneth Baker "Wanxin Zhang at Triangle" San Francisco Chronicle, July 27th 2002, D10

Lectures

2006 "Wanxin Zhang’s Recent Sculptures" Laramie, Wyoming
University of Wyoming Art Museum, Feb. 3rd, 2006
2004 "Wanxin Zhang's New Pieces" Buffalo State College, April 20th Buffalo, New York
2003 "Artist Introduction" California State Long Beach, Sept. 26th Long Beach, California
2000 "Form and Finish" The Koret Center, San Francisco Modern Art Museum San Francisco, California
1999 "Shape and Color" The Koret Center, San Francisco Modern Art Museum San Francisco, California
1997 "Wanxin Zhang and Recent Works" Sun Bird Gallery, May 16th Los Altos City, California

Books and Exhibition Catalogs

2010 The Chinese Connection. Morean Arts Center, Exhibition Catalog,, Vine, Richard. St, Petersburg, FL
2009 “500 Ceramic Sculptures” Lark Ceramics Book, Sterling Publishing Co. Inc., New York / London
2008 “Taiwan Ceramics Biennale” Exhibition Book, Taipei, Taiwan
“A Human Impulse” Figuration from the Diane and Sandy Besser Collection, Arizona State University
“Exhibition Advertisement” Art in America Magazine, August 2008 Issue
“Exhibition Advertisement” Asian Art News, Singapore, Volume 18, Number 4 p.38,
July/August Issue, 2008
2007-08 “Clay in Art International Yearbook” Clay Art International, Athens, Greece
2007 “Innovation & Change” Peter Held, Arizona State University Art Museum
"Clay and Brush: The Ceramic Art of China" Brian Dursum, Loews Art Museum, University of Miami
2006 "Modern Chinese Artists: A Biographical Dictionary" Michael Sullivan, Uni. of California Press, 2006
"Landscape Sculpture Design for Beijing 2008 Olympic Games" Exhibition brochure, Beijing, China
"Virginia A. Groot Award Announcement" Sculpture Magazine, September 2006 Issue
"Virginia A. Groot Award Announcement" Art in American Magazine, October 2006 Issue
"Virginia A. Groot Award Announcement" American Craft Magazine, October/November 2006 Issue
"Virginia A. Groot Award Announcement" American Ceramics Magazine, Fall 2006 Issue
"Confrontational Clay" by Judith Schwartz, Book. Published by A&C Black Publishers, London
2005 "Wanxin Zhang Pit #5 Wyoming 2006" University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie, Wyoming
"Riverbend Sculpture Biennial" Online Catalog: www.opublicart.org,
2005 "Wanxin Zhang Pit #5 Wyoming 2006" University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie, Wyoming
"Riverbend Sculpture Biennial" Online Catalog: www.opublicart.org,
Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, Owensboro, Kentucky
"The Other Mainstream" Weithorn Collection, Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona
2004 "Bird" A group invitational traveling exhibition, Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami, Florida
2003 "Across the Divide" California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, California
2002 "50th Anniversary of Sculpture Department" LuXun Institute of Fine Art, China
Light Industrial Publishing House, Beijing, China
"Wanxin Zhang Sculpture" Triangle Gallery, San Francisco, California
2000 "2000 All California Exhibition" Brochure. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California
1997 " California Clay Competition" Artery Gallery, Davis, California
1990 "Prize Winning Art Works of the 7 th Chinese National Art Exhibition" Pok Art House, Hong Kong
"World Sculpture" Henan Fine Arts Publishing House, Zheng Zhou, China

Recent Exhibits

Wanxin Zhang participated in these exhibits:

Aug, 2013 Figuratively Speaking
SMAart Gallery & Studio
 
Jul, 2013 THE WORKS OF WANXIN ZHANG & MORE
Sanchez Art Center
 
Jun, 2013 WANXIN ZHANG: New Work
Turner Carroll Gallery
 
Sep, 2012 LOCAL TREASURES: Bay Area Ceramics
Berkeley Art Center
 
Apr, 2012 A Ten Year Survey
Richmond Art Center
 
Jan, 2012 Across the Divide
Visual Arts Center - University of Texas
 
Click here to see all exhibits for Wanxin Zhang
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