Zhang Jian-Jun was born in 1955 in Shanghai. He currently lives and works in Shanghai and New York.

Graduating from the Shanghai Theatre Academy’s Department of Fine Arts in 1978, Zhang became Shanghai Art Museum's Assistant Director and the head of the Art Research Department of the Museum in 1986 before moving to the United States in 1989. His work spans an array of media, from interactive installation, through performance, photography, to sculpture and painting. Zhang expresses his personal perspective on humankind and the universe through the integrity of language and constantly explores the existence of the ontological status. His oeuvre displays a profound understanding of Chinese philosophy and culture.

Zhang is currently an Associate Professor at New York University in Shanghai. Zhang Jian-Jun: Human Traces, a survey of the artist's work, was presented at Royal Academy of Art, London (2019), chi K11 art museum, Shanghai (2021), and chi K11 art space, Shenyang (2021). He has also exhibited extensively, important solo exhibitions were held OCAT Xi’An (2017); Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2015); Asian American Art Centre, New York (2005); Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou (2002); and Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai (1987). His work was also widely featured in other joint exhibitions, more recent ones include Power Station of Art, Shanghai (2020, 2013); Brooklyn Museum, New York (2019); Cantor Art Centre at Sanford University (2018); Kunstmuseum Bern (2016, 2010); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2013); Anacostia Art Museum, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC (2012); Contemporary Art Museum, Rome (2011); and Kunstmuseum, Lucern (2011).