Zhang Chong 张翀
Nachstellung / Erinnerungsort （拟态——驰念之地）
23.11 - 19.01.2019
After 5 years spent in Germany, ZHANG CHONG, a young Chinese artist, is on the move back to China. To mark the occasion Edmond Gallery is pleased to present a series of his last works titled Nachstellung / Erinnerungsort ( Reenactment / Places of Memory ).
His minimal installations are made of meticulously handcrafted and readymade objects. We can’t help think of wistful Claudio Parmiggiani’s works , Erika Wanenmacher’s maverick sculptures or Mike Kelley’s obsessive recreations.
But trained as a sculptor in Bonn, Zhang Chong first belongs to the rigorous and austere tradition of German makers of installation, combining craftsmanship and conceptualism. His works may be equidistant between odd Robert Gober’s objects and ambiguous Thomas Demand’s reconstructions.
Technically each single installation is a challenge, stretching the limits and challenging the possibilities of connectivity between materials. Zhang Chong likes to tinker with glass, sewing thread, wood, electric bulbs, folded paper, insects or fallen leaves. But his primary material is Memory.
Memory as construction and imagination. Not a search of Lost Time. In our postmodern 21st century in which information endlessly proliferates with a permanent threat from data-loss, his installations are intimate memorial spaces. All his works suggest materialized states of mind. What it is like to feel loneliness, isolation, to be far from one's country, to try and to fit in a foreign culture. This process of transformation recalls the artist the Kafka’s metamorphosis.
His personal surrealistic juxtapositions explore the universal themes of formative experience, identity construction, ability to adapt and cultural mimesis. They are also "vanities" pointing to the precariousness of human achievements and inviting us to meditate on the passing of all things. Unless they evoke the mystery of reincarnation. Because by his training in Alanus College Zhang Chong has discovered anthroposophy and incorporated some of Rudolf Steiner’s ideas.
Zhang Chong’s installations are charged with symbolic purpose. But their content must be intuited by the viewer. He only shows us the door. We are the ones that have to walk through it.