Zhang Xiaotao

Zhang Xiaotao
Ants Moving Things No.3, 2006
Oil on canvas
200 x 300 cm

Oscillating between the macro and micro, the engulfing scale of Zhang Xioatao’s paintings is at odds with his tiny subjects, each canvas encapsulating a sense of ’universe’ within their humble depictions. Approaching painting as an archetype of beauty, Zhang’s surfaces are vivacious in their intensely rich detail. Mesmerising with lush textures and soulful hues, Zhang magnifies the conception of space and physicality, creating a sense of infinity within the minute and claustrophobic.

Zhang Xiaotao
Travel, 2006
Oil on canvas
300 x 200 cm

Through painting rodents, insects, and other emblems of decay, Zhang transfers this contemplative wonder into the realm of the grotesque, situating the viewer amongst the lowly and parasitic and creating sensuously emotive metaphors for the human condition. In Ants Moving Things No. 3, the collective will and movement of a colony is imparted as equally heroic and oppressive within an industrial setting suggestive of social realist propaganda; while in Travel, the plight of a drowning rat manifests individual conscience with poignant tranquillity, sorrow, and grace.

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