XU Zhen is a leading figure among the young generation of Chinese artists. His extensive body of work, which includes photography, installation art and video, entails theatrical humor as well as social critique, neither entirely serious nor obviously ironic, evoking moments of complexity. His projects are informed by performance as well as conceptual art. Xu Zhen won the prize for ‘Best Artist’ at the China Contemporary Art Award in 2004. He participated to the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001, and has since exhibited his works widely. Recent exhibitions include Xu Zhen: Forbidden Castle (Montanelli Museum, Prague, Czech Republic, 2012) 12 Rooms, Ruhrtriennale (Museum Folkwang, Gelsenkirchen, 2012), Art of Change (Hayward Gallery, London, 2012), 11 Rooms (Manchester International Festival, Manchester City Galleries, 2011).
Aside from being an artist, Xu Zhen is also a curator and actively organizes various art activities. He co-curated together with other artists major exhibitions in Shanghai (Art For Sale, 1999; Fan Mingzhen & Fan Mingzhu, 2002; Dial 62761232-Courier Exhibition, 2004; 38 Solo Exhibitions, 2006; The Real Thing: Contemporary from Art China, Tate Liverpool, 2007; Bourgeoisified Proletariat, 2009; My Communism - Poster Exhibition, 2011, etc.). He was one of the initiators of the contemporary art forum on internet Art-Ba-Ba (www.art-ba-ba.com) in 2006. In 2009, he established ‘MadeIn Company’, a contemporary art creation corporate, focused on the production of creativity, and devoted to the research of contemporary culture’s infinite possibilities. MadeIn Company’s selected exhibitions include: The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (Gallery of Modern Art and Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia, 2012); The Unseen – The 4th Guangzhou Triennial (Guangdong Museum of Art, Canton, 2012); Surplus Authors, (Witte de With, Rotterdam, 2012), The 1st Kiev Biennale (Arsenale, Kiev, 2012), Inside the White Cube (White Cube, London, U.K., 2012); Sleeping Life Away (Nathalie Obadia Gallery, Paris, France, 2012).