Zhang Huan’s works are both highly personal and politicised, dealing with complex issues of identity, spiritualism, vulnerability, and transgression. His practice incorporates a wide variety of tactics – from performance to photography, installation, sculpture and painting.
“The skull that appears in The Poppy Rhino is not the first time I have reproduced or included skulls as a motif, which continue the theme of my work; impermanence and the transient nature of life.
They are specifically Tibetan in style. In Tibetan culture, lama uses the skull as a cup in order to prevent people from becoming addicted to worldly pleasures. The skull tattoo represents a spiritual antidote for passions and vices. The Poppy Rhino resonates strongly with my previous Poppy Fields paintings. I try to use them for questioning and reminding of the omnipresence of death and the impermanence of all things.”
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