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Giving Tree


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Zhang Dali is Beijing's lone graffiti artist. His signature outline of a human head can be seen all over the Chinese capital - on the underpasses of the Ring roads and in the lanes (hutongs) of old Beijing. In the capital's drive to modernise itself most of the traditional courtyard houses have been destroyed, replaced by highrise blocks of flats, and many of the old houses left are marked for demolition. On those marked for demolition one can also find the mark of Zhang Dali.


The artist calls his heads "Dialogue". Under the cover of night he spray paints his mark and then returns in daylight to photograph it. The photograph is transferred via a computer printing process to canvas and thus the work is documented. The rebuilding of Beijing will erase the original graffiti. The intention with his work is to call attention to the changes taking place in Chinese society and to enter into a dialogue with his compatriots whom he sees as becoming increasingly estranged as the drive towards modernisation continues.


Zhang Dali also creates light boxes, with a neon outline of the head, and Destructions. Ideally the neon boxes should be placed in the city streets, becoming a part of the ever growing commercialism of China. The Destruction works are performance pieces where the artist, assisted by other workers, smashes and chisels a hole the shape of the head in a wall.


When Zhang Dali first started his graffiti works he was a wanted man and lived in constant fear of arrest. In recent years the publicity generated by his work has served to protect him. Articles have appeared in the foreign and Chinese press and he now exhibits worldwide. In November he will show his work in a group exhibition at the ICA in London as well as holding his solo show with Chinese Contemporary and a solo show in Beijing. The next four months will see exhibitions in California, Holland and Tokyo.

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Guest BROWNer

uh, you might want to check out channel zero a few pages back....

a much bigger, if not better post of ak-47 awaits if i do say so myself....

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next level ? this guy is just doing some propaganda shit.. its cool that he does it for a reason ... but beyond that .. so what? plenty of people do propaganda shit..


oh and the head has either 2 noses or 3 lips... but i do like him .. cuz those old buildings are cool

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