by Ariadna Zierold
Zhang Shujian is a young Chinese painter who intensively examines the human face in his artistic practice. Shujian was born in Hunan Province in 1987 and graduated in the Department of Oil Painting of Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2010. Surprisingly enough, he chose to study in the No.4 Studio, which is known for explorative expressionism. But in the end, he choose the method of Photographic Realism.
Shujian refuses to conform to the established standard of aesthetics. He rather paints all details of the face in his photorealistic portraits. In Shujian’s portraits could be seen all those thing that people tend to overlook or ignore. He points out the beauty in a toothless grin or the heavy, wrinkled eyelids of an elder man. In fine brushstrokes artist paints single hairs on his panels and adds every single freckle, pimple or blemish. Typical in his paintings and drawings is the meticulousness Shujian uses to depict skin. In pencil on paper or with thin layers of oil paint, varnish and lacquer, he creates pieces that capture more than the image of a person.