Xu Zhen – ‘Artists Change the Way People Think’


Conceptual artist, curator and entrepreneur Xu Zhen is a leading figure among the younger generation of Chinese contemporary artists. His extensive body of work across multiple platforms and media is intended to push boundaries, satirise cultural assumptions and confront a range of socio-political taboos. Xu’s pseudo-documentary 8848 – 1.86 (2005) recounts his team scaling the world’s highest mountain and cutting off its top. The multi-media installation comprises a refrigerated vitrine displaying a snowy peak, video of the expedition, oxygen masks and equipment allegedly used to make the trek. The artist’s claim to have taken part of the mountain to China is a witty and provocative play on foreign perceptions of China’s insensitivity to surrounding nations. Find out more about Xu Zhen: https://goo.gl/YoHcbV

Cite this page as: Tate, "Xu Zhen – ‘Artists Change the Way People Think’," in Smarthistory, September 9, 2021, accessed October 16, 2021, https://smarthistory.org/xu-zhen-artists-change-the-way-people-think/.