Zhang Zhenyu was born in the (central Chinese province of Hunan) in 1974. He attended and graduated from Central Academy of Fine Arts Beijing and lives and works in Beijing.
Zhang Zhenyu represents a young generation of Chinese artists engaged with converting simple material into conceptual art forms. His pieces are multi-layered and play with the idea of (re)use. One of his most important exhibitions exploring the subject was Dust for which he displayed 8 recent dust paintings, created between 2014 – 2016, and exhibited at Richard Koh Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur in late 2016 and then, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chengdu, China. Through a careful repetitive process of gluing found dust sourced from city streets onto the canvas and constructing them through layering, the artist would grind the surface until a polished smooth reflective finish is achieved and a smoky image is conjured. Observing the urban reality of modern China and the rampant urbanization, the artist considers dust, a material that is simultaneously omnipresent and intimate in our live as no longer fully natural, but a combination of the by-products of pollution, construction and development happening in the fast-paced developing country. Earlier in 2008, Zhang had spent the entire year, several hours a day, scraping off the texts of the China Daily Newspaper. He scratched out headlines, paragraphs and photos of the articles. In a contemplative and subjective approach of collecting, Zhenyu had transformed information through a conspicuous annihilation of the content.
Recent exhibitions include: the 2nd Nanjing International Art Festival, Nanjing (2015); Post-Calligraphy in Chinese Contemporary Art, Kunstraum Villa Friede, Bonn, Germany (2015); Within Sight—Chinese New Painting at Post-Financial Crisis Era, Fondation Taylor, Paris (2015); Blow-UP—Chinese New Painting at Post-Financial Crisis Era, Changjiang Museum of Contemporary Art, Chongqing Changjiang, China (2015); Early abstraction in China 1978-1992, Yallay Gallery, Hong Kong (2015); Safe House, Bejing, Vortex, ShanghART, Shanghai (2017), Artificial Garden, Today Art Museum, Beijing in 2017; High Speed Form, OCAT Shanghai, (2019).