K11 Art Foundation is pleased to announce that Zhang Jian-Jun, who is based in Shanghai and New York, has started his two-month residency at the Royal Academy of Arts (RA), located in London, as the fourth artist taking part in the three-year artist-in-residence programme co-presented by the two institutions. The residency involves the creation of a new mixed-media installation work—Human Traces—that manifests Zhang’s ongoing artistic enquiry into humankind and his deep interest in the existence of nature, society and people as one whole. The work will be on view at Zhang’s solo show of the same name at his studio in the RA Schools, Smirke 2 Studio, from 5 September to 14 September 2019.
Since settling into his new work routine in London in July 2019, Zhang has been transforming Smirke 2 Studio, his temporary studio in the RA Schools, which is situated at the heart of the Royal Academy, into an ‘archaeology’ site where experiences from the past and present are captured and transformed into an engaging form of storytelling that invites ruminations about the possibility of connection beyond cultural differences. Ink and charcoal portraits of the people he met in London, along with images of the historical statues displayed at the Royal Academy, have been made to integrate with audio recordings of the interviews he did with a group of participants, who answered questions about their personal experiences linked to history and future.