ArtSlant: Dali’s New Hues

Zhang Dali New Works: World’s Shadows

Pékin Fine Arts, No.241 Cao Chang Di Village, Cui Ge Zhuang, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China

22 Oct, 2011 – 8 Jan, 2012

Blue is the dominant colour of Zhang Dali’s new series of photograms and cyanotypes, framing the shadowed forms cast upon them. These large-scale photographic impressions on cloth present figures, bicycles and pagodas in their unexposed, white areas, in negative; the surroundings are left in the rich cyan blue, verging on indigo. These “material objects” (as Zhang refers to them) leave their marks as absence and adjust our received impressions of them, reversing the shadow’s fleeting aspect to permanently fix and memorialise them.

The traces left behind by image-making processes and their subsequent re-presentation or removal has been a recurring subject matter for Zhang. From his early graffiti works that traced the profile of his head onto buildings (particularly those in the process of demolition); to the Second History series of counterposed photographs documenting the changes wrought on images by history through which ideology is reflected. In each case the trace of an object and the meaning of that trace is susceptible to erasure and interpretation, becoming a new reality that further impinges on the world we ourselves inhabit.

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