Vivien Zhang b. 1990



Vivien Zhang’s work reflects disjunctions one experiences as a third-culture citizen and also as a digital native. Her paintings present a cultural and geographical fluidity that interrogates the palimpsest nature of contemporary culture and the paradoxes of our information age. Zhang collates motifs from personal and collective shared experiences and manifest them in various combinations in her paintings. These motifs often occupy multiple contexts or cultures, or share properties of ambiguity. Assembled in the space of her canvases, the motifs collide and defy their origin interpretations, generating open networks (Umberto Eco) and “alternative landscapes” for an imagined generation of third-culture inhabitants. Examples of these motifs include the mathematical shape Gömböc, Central Asian kilims, “manicules” found in early European manuscripts, and spiral columns in Baroque churches.


Vivien Zhang was bron in Beijing in 1990. Currently based in London, she grew up in China, Kenya and Thailand. She received her MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art (London) after completing her undergraduate at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL (London).


Zhang’s recent solo and duo exhibitions include: Soft Borders, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, 2020; Codescape, Long March Space, Beijing, 2018; Uzumaki, House of Egorn, Berlin, 2018; Art Rotterdam, House of Egorn, Rotterdam, 2018; Digital Natives: Vivien Zhang and Thomas van Linge, The RYDER, London, 2017; Vivien Zhang (curated by Sarah McCrory), Monteverdi, Castiglioncello del Trinoro, 2017; MiArt, House of Egorn, Milan, 2017; South of Meaning: Travis Jeppesen and Vivien Zhang, House of Egorn, Berlin, 2016; Cavity Drift: Vivien Zhang, Galerie Huit, Hong Kong, 2016; Vivien Zhang | The Chadwell Award Exhibition, PSW, London, 2015; Deeper Bite: Teresita Dennis | Vivien Zhang, Lychee One, London, 2015; and Laurence Owen | Vivien Zhang, Rook & Raven, London, 2014.


Select group exhibitions include: Echo Chamber, PLUS-ONE Gallery, Antwerp, 2019; Generation Y, Platform Foundation, London, 2019; Art Basel Hong Kong, Long March Space, Hong Kong, 2019; To Cite A Body | with Bob Bicknell-Knight, Keiken, Yoshi Kametani, and Mark Aerial Waller (curated by Jack Smurthwaite), Sluice, London, 2019; BE:YO:ND, PLUS-ONE Gallery, Antwerp, 2018; Bone Memory, Lychee One, London, 2018; Code Art Fair, The RYDER, Copenhagen, 2018; Art021, Long March Space, Shanghai, 2017; Referencing Alexander Calder, Klein Sun Gallery, New York, 2017; Art Basel, Long March Space, Basel, 2017; High Noon (curated by Adrienne Drake, Sarah Linford, and Donatella Saroli), Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma, Rome, 2017; All As Long Distance Neighbours (curated by Marialuisa Pastò), SOYUZ, Pescara, 2017; June Mostra, British School at Rome, Rome, 2017; and March Mostra, British School at Rome, Rome, 2017.


Zhang’s works are in a number of prominent collections including: Andrew Xue Collection (Singapore), Aspen Art Collection (London), Chadwell Collection (London)' JNBY Group (Hangzhou), Quintain (London), Royal College of Art (London), Soho House Collection (London and Hong Kong), St James Group (London), Star Museum (Shanghai), Swarovski Archive (Global), Tomson Group (Hong Kong), and White Rabbit Collection (Sydney).


Zhang is named on the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list, and is the recipient of the Abbey Award 2016–17 at the British School at Rome and the Chadwell Award 2014–15. 


Zhang currently lives and works in London, Uk.