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1/2 (Text): Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Shortly before Zhang Huan left his native China to temporarily relocate to the United States, he performed a work of art in which he invited friends to write phrases or words on his face and body with black ink. In this resulting self-portrait, Huan's ethnicity is literally inscribed on his body. Yet for most Western viewers the text is unreadable. 1/2 (Text) is a visual metaphor for the difficult transcultural experience upon which Zhang was about to embark. As an Asian body circulating within a Western culture, would Zhang himself be as difficult to understand as his language? He said, "The body is the only direct way through which I come to know society and society comes to know me. The body is the proof of identity. The body is language."
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Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: October 2, 2010