Zhang Xinjun at Telescope

January 14, 2014

Telescope presents Beijing artist Zhang Xinjun’s first solo exhibition.

Beijing artist Zhang Xinjun’s work is born out of his relationship with the common materials and objects found in his everyday life and how they relate to his local surroundings. He references a general history and his personal past through the objects and their new relationships between themselves. The elements that make up his installations are not intended to convey any specific or symbolic meaning, only to nurture an ambiguous setting suspended in time between childhood, the mother, daily life, memory, living spaces, society and the surrounding environment.

In Zhang’s Telescope exhibition, desks, tables, and chairs from his childhood school, are all linked together by rays of yellow thread that pierce the wood and continue on unhindered like sunbeams passing through glass. The children’s furniture, tilted on the floor, suspended in air, frozen on the wall, defy gravity and reason as if they are unsure how to relate to their new environment, yet secure in their place. In a similar relationship, Zhang remembers how his mother took thread and wove a piece of fabric, and from the fabric made clothes, soft and warm, for the child. The thread binds them all together. It is a bridge connecting time and space, imagination and reality, the individual and society, mother and child. In the second gallery space sleeping bags have been cut up into 100’s of small triangular shapes then stitched together into a womb-like geodesic dome. A chiseled hole in the gallery wall creates an entrance and crawl space to enter this hidden kaleidoscopic bubble. From within it resembles a chapel with light filtering into the nave through soft stain glass windows; a place to start over, rediscover, and contemplate one's relationship to society and the world around them, and to possibly be reborn. --James Elaine