Zhang Ji is a New Zealand Chinese artist, formerly resident in the famed Yuanmingyuan artist colony in Beijing, China. Since 2011, Zhang Ji has been a proud inhabitant of Õtautahi-Christchurch in Aotearoa-New Zealand, where he settled with his young family.
Zhang Ji’s work fuses Chinese traditional art practices of calligraphy and inks with contemporary art. His painting form covers abstracts and impressionist landscapes. He is also a gifted portraitist and accomplished performance artist.
The Daoist concepts of “non-action” 无为, and “following nature” 顺其自然, are an important theme within Zhang Ji’s work. In addition to his art practice, Zhang Ji is also an acupuncturist and taiqi and qigong practitioner.
Zhang Ji has travelled widely throughout Aotearoa, and is fascinated by the colours and shapes of the landscape. His main influences in recent years has been the work of Ralph Hotere, Colin McCahon, and Toss Woolaston, all of whose meditations on the Aotearoa New Zealand landscape have hugely influenced Zhang Ji’s painting style. Zhang Ji has a sharp eye for colour and shape, and is adept at capturing the essence of a person or a place.
Born in 1966 in Wuhan, China, Zhang Ji studied Fine Arts and Stage Design at the Central Academy of Drama, in Beijing, as well as completing training in graphic arts. Zhang has done performance art at the Melbourne Fringe Festival and participated in exhibitions from Beijing and Tokyo, to Canberra and Christchurch. His works are held in collections at Australian National University and Artbank Australia, among others.