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Zhang Xiaogang: On Bloodlines and Family
Zhang Xiaogang: On Bloodlines and Family
2:39

So many things are embodied in history that we have neglected in the past. When I looked at the family photo, I saw my parents in their youth which contrasted with ours, and I was deeply moved.

Zhang Xiaogang

Zhang Xiaogang’s discovery of family photographs—thought to have been lost because many albums were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution—inspired his 'Bloodline' series.

In 1993, Zhang Xiaogang began the Bloodline series, which comprises some of the most iconic images in Chinese contemporary art. In this video, he explains how his discovery of family photographs—thought to have been lost because many albums were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution—inspired these paintings.

In the series, Zhang makes little distinction between male and female facial features, suggesting an indifference to individuality. He established a clear identity as an artist by shedding Western aesthetics to focus on personal narrative and collective memory.

This video was originally published on M+ Stories.

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