Zheng Chongbin

Inaugural Artist

International artist Zheng Chongbin centers his artistic practice around the pre-modern Daoist concept that the natural, inorganic world of energy and matter is living and always changing. Chimeric Landscape reflected this view as an expanding blot, and transformed 2.5 acres of theMART simultaneously into an aperture and a void. There was a rhythm to the movement of the work, and a mysterious yet logical mode in its transformation.



Works & Experience

Throughout his career of three decades, Zheng Chongbin (b. 1961, Shanghai) has held the classical Chinese ink tradition and Western pictorial abstraction in productive mutual tension. Systematically exploring and deconstructing their conventions and constituents—figure, texture, space, geometry, gesture, materiality—he has developed a distinctive body of work that makes the vitality of matter directly perceptible. Central to Zheng’s art is the notion of the world as always in flux, consisting of flows of matter and energy that repeatedly cohere and dissipate. Inherent in pre-modern Chinese and especially Daoist thought, this worldview enables contemporary inquiries into complex systems like climate and social behavior, artificial intelligence and quantum physics. In his video installations, Zheng represents processes of nature—from molecular and cellular to topographical and climatic—in the scale of human perception through microscopic and macroscopic imagery and accompanying soundscapes, unfolding these processes spatially and temporally.

In recent years, Zheng Chongbin has been recognized by a growing number of international curators and institutions. In 2015, Zero Movement scholar Renate Wiehager exhibited Zheng’s White Reflection (2012) with a work by senior German artist Max Uhlig at Daimler Contemporary in Berlin. Zheng debuted his environmental video installation, Chimeric Landscape (2015), at the European Cultural Centre’s exhibition Personal Structures during the 2015 Venice Biennale. For Wall of Skies, Zheng was selected to be one of eleven highlighted artists by curators Raqs Media Collective at the 2016 Shanghai Biennale Why Not Ask Again? Zheng’s work can be found in the collections including the British Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Orange County Museum of Art in California, M+ in Hong Kong, the Daimler Art Collection in Stuttgart, Germany, the DSL Collection in France and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, among others.