100 Chinese (17 heads)

100 Chinese (17 heads)

Zhang Dali, Chinese, 1963-
Born: Harbin, China
Work Locations: Beijing, China
Synthetic resin
Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum
(c) Zhang Dali
This object is currently on view
height: 11 3/4 in, 29.8450 cm; width: 9 7/8 in, 25.0825 cm; depth: 9 7/8 in, 25.0825 cm
Modern and Contemporary Art
Modern and Contemporary Art

Zhang Dali’s “100 Chinese (17 Heads)” includes 17 unique cast portraits. As a comment on government social policy, he set about to “document” one hundred undocumented illegal Chinese immigrants who had come to Beijing from the countryside. These migrant workers, sometimes with entire families in tow, pour into the city in search of work but live on the fringes of society. Lacking the official identification papers required to secure stable jobs, they do not exist in any official capacity – they are not entitled to health care, education, or any other state benefit. The artist paid a fee to each worker who would agree to let him mold a cast of his or her head. These workers are as much a symbol of rapid urbanization in China as is the demolition of old structures to make way for the new. (Radar catalogue, 180)

Zhang was born in 1963 in Harbin, China. He graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 1987 with a BA in painting. He currently lives and works in Beijing.

© Zhang Dali

Exhibition History
  • "Full Frontal: Contemporary Asian Artists from the Logan Collection"— Denver Art Museum [10/18/2003 - 05/23/2004]
  • "Radar: Selections from the Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan"— Denver Art Museum [10/07/2006 - 07/15/2007]
  • "Half-Life of a Dream: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Logan Collection"— San Francisco Museum of Modern Art [07/10/2008 - 10/05/2008]
  • “Disruption: Works from the Vicki and Kent Logan Collection” — Denver Art Museum, 1/13/2022

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