Zhang Huan's "49 Days," currently showing at Blum & Poe Los Angeles, presents a series of the renowned Chinese artist's new brick sculptures. Central to his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles is his 2009 work "Pagoda", which used materials from demolished Shanghai buildings. "Pagoda" reflects the destruction of centuries-old buildings in order to make way for new architectural developments.
The other source of inspiration for this show is the story of Zhu Gangqiang, or the "Cast-Iron Pig," a pig who survived for 49 days in the Sichuan earthquake rubble. Zhang purchased the pig, who now lives in his studio, and used his story as the title for his show. "49 days" is also an important concept in Buddhism, for Buddhists believe that 49 days is the time that a soul remains on earth between death and re-incarnation. The exhibit continues to express Zhang's fascination with community and artistic survival, subjects he has explored since his work in the early 90's.
Zhang Huan was born in An Yang City, China in 1965. He has had his work shown in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York;The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Pompidou Center, Paris; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
See the work at Blum and Poe, 2727 South La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles until July 9th.
Zhang Huan 49 Days No. 1, 2011 Gray brick, steel 135 7/8 x 131 7/8 x 98 3/8 inches (345 x 335 x 250 centimeters) Photo credit: Samuel Kahn
Zhang Huan 49 Days No. 2, 2011 Gray brick, steel 60 1/4 x 119 5/8 x 41 3/8 inches (153 x 304 x 105 centimeters) Photo credit: Samuel Kahn
Zhang Huan 49 Days No. 3, 2011 Gray brick, steel 28 3/8 x 79 1/2 x 139 3/4 inches (72 x 202 x 355 centimeters) Photo credit: Samuel Kahn
Zhang Huan 49 Days No. 6, 2011 Gray brick, steel 77 1/2 x 104 3/8 x 77 1/8 inches (197 x 265 x 196 centimeters) Photo credit: Samuel Kahn
Zhang Huan Pagoda, 2009 Gray brick, steel, taxigermied pig 244 (height) x 335 (diameter) inches (619.8 x 851 centimeters) Photo credit: Samuel Kahn