Cutthroat Kitchen

Zhang Zipiao

March 27 – April 27, 2019

MINE PROJECT is pleased to announce Cutthroat Kitchen, the solo exhibition of young Chinese artist Zhang Zipiao. Her first presentation with the gallery, as well as in Hong Kong, the show features a suite of new works that extend her bold pursuit for self-meaning through the medium of painting. Celebrated for her expressive style flouting conventions of propriety, Zhang claims influence from the digital cultures that have sprung up around YouTube, Instagram and other social networks. Building on her repertoire of visual puns and metaphorical subjects, the show centres on the motif of fruit, blending her personal experience with the history of still life. The show includes 15 works and is curated by Michael Xufu Huang.

Speaking on the exhibition, Zhang states, “Half the fruit I’ve painted have been cut open, revealing their interior structures to the viewer. This is a kind of exposure or denuding, and the act of incision or dissection is a commonplace death that occurs in the kitchen. The fragility of the freshly cut fruit contrasts with those that remain whole and filled the promise of life.” For Zhang, this visual metaphor communicates the “cruelty of reality” and the risk associated with “being exposed” to world.

The artist’s previous works have similarly focused on reoccurring forms — private spaces, plants, food and animals — and reflect her own contemplation of globalized everyday life. For Zhang, these subjects are intrinsic to the politics of representation, subjugated to the ethical hierarchies particular to every culture. “Cutthroat Kitchen” weaves a symbolic narrative around the slippery social standards demanded within our increasingly interconnected lives. As many have often lamented, to be known is to be misunderstood. The artist suggests this condition allows for extremes of both humor and violence.