Lingrui Zhang (b.1994) was born in Anhui, China. Following on from a BA in Oil Painting at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, he continued with an MA in Painting at Royal College of Art in London. His work has been featured in a number of group exhibitions including: Final, not Over, Unit 1 Gallery, London (2020), Blessing in Disguise, Saint Maison Gallery, London (2020), Snapshot, Hockney Gallery, London (2020); Sunny Art Prize 2019 Exhibition, Sunny Art Centre, London (2019); The Hidden Dimension, Coningsby Gallery, London (2019), Antibody——Fresh Vision at C2 Space, North District, OCAT-LOFT, Shenzhen (2017); Undergraduate Students’ Graduation Artwork Exhibition of Central Academy of Fine Arts, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing (2017); and The Fictitious Present——INTER YOUTH, Art Museum of CAA, Hangzhou (2015).
Lingrui Zhang's recent art practice mainly focuses on the pictorial and schema language referring to painting itself, in which the concept of ‘meta painting’ is used to develop the practice of relevant figurative painting. Lingrui Zhang’s painting behaviour has become a kind of muscle memory, and seems to pay more attention to the extension of painting medium as an ontology. How it participates in the broad visual observation of modern people in the contemporary context? Can the results of practice present the ‘self-cognition’ of images and paintings to a certain extent? Can it be free from the boundary between the painting object and the pigment materiality? Lingrui Zhang speculates on these questions and his thoughts are reflected in his art practice.
As Clement Greenberg advocated, modern art aims to explore and present the nature of its own media, Lingrui Zhang hopes that his works would be presented to show how images and paintings reflect themselves, rather than conveying the extended meaning of art or philosophy through painting language when creating and researching. Although the slightly nervous gestures and states of the metaphorical figures and still-lives often appear in his works, they are not metaphors of great practical significance, but more to bring the visual and psychological level of ‘confusion’ to the viewer, creating visual ‘errors and doubts'. In his view, these dramatic pictorial languages are more representative of the ‘illusion’ at the level of consciousness, which also echoes one of his painting ontologies he upholds, that is, the contradictory result of ‘a deception telling the truth’ is presented after the emotional state and time stagnation of a particular moment are injected into the two-dimensional plane. Moreover, the mottled traces of text mixed in the colour layers often appear in his works. He also pays attention to the use of text in paintings, trying to create a psychological separation between the works and the viewers that is reasonable but difficult to distinguish right from wrong.