Xu Zhen’s Exhibition at Perrotin, Seoul

Installation view XU ZHEN®, Perrotin Seoul, 2018

Perrotin Seoul is showcasing new works of Chinese artist Xu Zhen in a solo exhibition. Xu is the founder of art brand Xu Zhen®.

“Under Heaven-2801PR0176,” 2017 Xu Zhen
“Under Heaven-2801PR0176,” 2017
Xu Zhen

Xu is famous for his photography, videos and installation work and through his long artistic career, the artist has witnessed the changing scenario in the socio-political situation of China, which dwindled from iconographies related to traditional culture and civilization towards the modern consumerism. Xu has created his art corporation “MadeIn Company” to create a balance between ideas of art with business.

“This must be heaven, because you sure look like an angel…,” 2016 Xu Zhen
“This must be heaven, because you sure look like an angel…,” 2016
Xu Zhen

“On display is his signature ‘Under Heaven’ series, which was featured in the 2014 Armory Show in New York to serve the commercial campaign for the fair. Florae of vibrant colors are skillfully figured using Xu Zhen®, evoking the luscious icing on a birthday cake. Fragrant and fragile, joyful and decadent, this subconscious blur of decipherable imagery and extraneous elements allude to economic growth as a sumptuous, moveable feast — a metaphor for the globalized hedonism in China. Conversely, Xu also sees his pop-like ‘cake painting’ as a collective representation of childhood revelries and excesses, a visual referent capable of conjuring each individual’s inner experience,” the gallery says.

Installation view XU ZHEN®, Perrotin Seoul, 2018
Installation view
XU ZHEN®, Perrotin Seoul, 2018

Xu has dealt with the subject of cultural hybridization by infusing traditional motifs of the African and Chinese culture in the context of globalization. He has enlightened us to the virtual reality in the era of Post-Truth and Post-Internet, where nothing is actually what it seems to be.


The ‘Metal Language’ series also implies the difference between actual incident and virtual reality.

Xu was born in 1977. He lives and works in Shanghai. Xu Zhen’s work has been showcased at various international museums and biennales, such as Guggenheim Museum, New York; Sydney Biennial; Al Riwaq Art Center, Qatar; Long Museum, Shanghai; Armory Show, New York; Lyon Biennial; Hayward Gallery, London; Tate Liverpool; MoMA PS1, New York; Venice Biennale (2001, 2005); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2005); and The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2004), among others. In 2004, he won the prize for ‘Best Artist’ at the China Contemporary Art Award.

“Xu Zhen®” will run through July 8, 2018, at Perrotin, Seoul, 1F 5 PALPAN-GIL, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea.