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Considering the ties that bind

By Qu Zhi (Shanghai Daily)

10:26, August 29, 2012

SHANGHAI-BASED artist Zhang Bo has 10 major paintings collectively titled "Binding Reality" on display at O-Gallery, an old, hidden-away apartment near Hengshan Road.

A recurring feature in these punchy pieces are stings wrapped around images of people and animals. These appear to articulate feelings of restraint.

The strings in the pieces - as well as connecting the exhibits - can be seen as an analogy of social relationships.

It is said that Zhang's favorite work in this exhibition is the image of a man entwined in hundreds of strings, with two vivid green fish on his back.

Zhang says he felt he was trapped when creating this painting. With his social network getting more and more complicated, it symbolizes him shouting out. However, he is too bound up to struggle.

It can be seen that the strings of social relationships are becoming increasingly complex, binding individuals increasingly tightly. And as social interactions become ever more complicated, they hide the reality around them.

Born in 1962 in northeastern China's Jilin Province, Zhang majored in stage design at the Shanghai Theater Academy.

Before turning his attention to painting, Zhang had worked as an art director in film industry for 15 years. This background helps explain the 3D effect and tiny details of his works.

JP Lam, curator of his solo exhibition, says Zhang is an extremely shy and low-profile person and uncomfortable with public exposure.

He found the film industry restrictive and business-driven, so he resorted to art, where he can create more personal work, according to Lam.

Date: Through September 10, 10am-6pm

Address: Bldg 6, 18 Gao'an Rd, Shanghai, China

Reservations are required


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