Huan, Zhang b.1965 / Memory Door (Miss)
about this work
In 2006, Zhang Huan created a series entitled 'Memory Doors'. He collected old doors from country houses on which he pasted photographs, and selected areas in the photographs that would be carved away into bas-reliefs interacting with the remaining portions of the photographs. 

"I found these (doors) in Shanxi Province because most of the people down there are taking their doors down to change into iron gates, and sturdier doors. And also they're tearing down the old houses, and therefore the doors became available. The tradition of the doors like this is that on top of the door you would usually paste or put on something. It could be an image of the god of wealth, and the god of love, and it's just to bring good luck and good fortune or to somehow protect you from the evil spirits. So this is part of the Chinese tradition. And this is very, very important for Chinese people; as poor as you might be, you still need to manage to pay someone to write those tributes, so that you can put them by the doors, so people can see them. This is something that's crucial to the respect of every family.

The old pictures that I collected and I used for my pieces are in three different themes. One would be the military theme, one the day labor theme, and one the daily life. For me, in the memory door pieces I want to utilize these images of memories. I decide which part I want to keep and which one to take out, I can then create these two different spaces, or different dimensions that function between reality and fiction. And it is the job of the viewer to decide which is reality and which is fiction. So I want to show this juxtaposition of the real and false. Both are false but two wrongs don't make it right.

In China, the tradition of carving has about 500, 600 years of history. For me to put pictures on the wooden frame door, and to carve out certain sections is something I have never seen before in our art history, and to use the incense ash to do artwork, this is also something I've never seen before."
(Text by Zhang Huan)

Zhang Huan (b.1965, China)

Memory Door (Miss), 2008

Silkscreen mounted on canvas on carved antique door
135.9 x 332.9 x 17.1 cm.
53 1/2 x 131 1/16 x 6 3/4 in.
The Artist / Private collection, London, UK/ Phillips Auction House, London, UK/ Acquired from the above by previous owner  Current Location:
Switzerland - Basel - S Mixed Media Wall WorkFar East

Artwork History
  • artist origin
  • provenance
  • current location
  • exhibitions
  • multiple

related works / Zhang Huan / Far East / Mixed Media Wall Work