Xu Zhen®️

b. 1977 in Shanghai, China
Working in Shanghai, China
Showing at Asia Society Museum and The Park Avenue Malls at East 70th Street
On view October 27, 2020, through February 7, 2021
and
March 26, 2021, through June 27, 2021
Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix, 2019–20, Courtesy XU ZHEN® and James Cohan, New York.

Installation view of Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone at Asia Society Museum, New York, October 27, 2020–June 27, 2021. Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix, 2019–20, Courtesy XU ZHEN® and James Cohan, New York. Photograph © Bruce M. White, 2020. This work was commissioned by Asia Society Museum, New York, for the inaugural Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone.

Location: Asia Society Museum
Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix, 2019–20, Courtesy XU ZHEN® and James Cohan, New York.

Installation view of Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone at Asia Society Museum, New York, October 27, 2020–June 27, 2021. Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix, 2019–20, Courtesy XU ZHEN® and James Cohan, New York. Photograph © Bruce M. White, 2020. This work was commissioned by Asia Society Museum, New York, for the inaugural Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone.

Location: Asia Society Museum
Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix, 2019–20, Courtesy XU ZHEN® and James Cohan, New York.

Installation view of Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone at Asia Society Museum, New York, October 27, 2020–June 27, 2021. Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix, 2019–20, Courtesy XU ZHEN® and James Cohan, New York. Photograph © Bruce M. White, 2020. This work was commissioned by Asia Society Museum, New York, for the inaugural Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone.

Location: Asia Society Museum
A plinth appears on a median outside of Asia Society Museum. On it is a sculpture composed of two casts: on top an inverted bronze-colored eleventh-century male figure from Cambodia, balanced atop a light beige cast of a second-century Roman figure of Venus Genetrix. Neither figure has a head.

Installation view of Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone at the Park Avenue Malls at East 70th Street, March–June 2021. Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix, 2019–20, Courtesy XU ZHEN® and James Cohan, New York. Photograph © Bruce M. White, 2021, courtesy of Asia Society. This work was commissioned by Asia Society Museum, New York, for the inaugural Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone.

Location: The Park Avenue Malls at East 70th Street
A plinth appears on a median outside of Asia Society Museum. On it is a sculpture composed of two casts: on top an inverted bronze-colored eleventh-century male figure from Cambodia, balanced atop a light beige cast of a second-century Roman figure of Venus Genetrix. Neither figure has a head.

Installation view of Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone at the Park Avenue Malls at East 70th Street, March–June 2021. Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix, 2019–20, Courtesy XU ZHEN® and James Cohan, New York. Photograph © Bruce M. White, 2021, courtesy of Asia Society. This work was commissioned by Asia Society Museum, New York, for the inaugural Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone.

Location: The Park Avenue Malls at East 70th Street
Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix, 2019-2020

Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix, 2019–20. Mineral-based composite (jesmonite), internal steel armature, mineral pigment, marble plinth. Two sculptures, each, without plinth: H. 110 1/4 x W. 24 1/2 x D. 23 5/8 in. (280 x 62 x 60 cm); each, with plinth: H. 114 1/4 x W. 35 1/2 x D. 35 1/2 in. (290 x 90 x 90 cm). Courtesy XU ZHEN® and James Cohan, New York. Photograph courtesy of the artist. This work was commissioned by Asia Society Museum, New York, for the inaugural Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone.

Location: Asia Society Museum
Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix (detail), 2019-2020

Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix (detail), 2019–20. Mineral-based composite (jesmonite), internal steel armature, mineral pigment, marble plinth. Two sculptures, each, without plinth: H. 110 1/4 x W. 24 1/2 x D. 23 5/8 in. (280 x 62 x 60 cm); each, with plinth: H. 114 1/4 x W. 35 1/2 x D. 35 1/2 in. (290 x 90 x 90 cm). Courtesy XU ZHEN® and James Cohan, New York. Photograph courtesy of the artist. This work was commissioned by Asia Society Museum, New York, for the inaugural Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone.

Location: Asia Society Museum
Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix, 2019-2020

Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix, 2019–20. Mineral-based composite (jesmonite), internal steel armature, mineral pigment, marble plinth. Two sculptures, each, without plinth: H. 110 1/4 x W. 24 1/2 x D. 23 5/8 in. (280 x 62 x 60 cm); each, with plinth: H. 114 1/4 x W. 35 1/2 x D. 35 1/2 in. (290 x 90 x 90 cm). Courtesy XU ZHEN® and James Cohan, New York. Photograph courtesy of the artist. This work was commissioned by Asia Society Museum, New York, for the inaugural Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone.

Location: Asia Society Museum
Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix (detail), 2019-2020

Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix (detail), 2019–20. Mineral-based composite (jesmonite), internal steel armature, mineral pigment, marble plinth. Two sculptures, each, without plinth: H. 110 1/4 x W. 24 1/2 x D. 23 5/8 in. (280 x 62 x 60 cm); each, with plinth: H. 114 1/4 x W. 35 1/2 x D. 35 1/2 in. (290 x 90 x 90 cm). Courtesy XU ZHEN® and James Cohan, New York. Photograph courtesy of the artist. This work was commissioned by Asia Society Museum, New York, for the inaugural Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone.

Location: Asia Society Museum
Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix (detail), 2019-2020

Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix (detail), 2019–20. Mineral-based composite (jesmonite), internal steel armature, mineral pigment, marble plinth. Two sculptures, each, without plinth: H. 110 1/4 x W. 24 1/2 x D. 23 5/8 in. (280 x 62 x 60 cm); each, with plinth: H. 114 1/4 x W. 35 1/2 x D. 35 1/2 in. (290 x 90 x 90 cm). Courtesy XU ZHEN® and James Cohan, New York. Photograph courtesy of the artist. This work was commissioned by Asia Society Museum, New York, for the inaugural Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone.

Location: Asia Society Museum
Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix, 2019-2020

Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix, 2019–20. Bronze, internal steel armature, paint, concrete. Without plinth: H. 110 1/4 x W. 24 1/2 x D. 23 5/8 in. (280 x 62 x 60 cm); with plinth: H. 149 5/8 x W. 59 x D. 59 in. (380 x 150 x 150 cm). Courtesy XU ZHEN® and James Cohan, New York. Photograph courtesy of the artist. This work was commissioned by Asia Society Museum, New York, for the inaugural Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone.

Location: The Park Avenue Malls at East 70th Street
Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix, 2019-2020

Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix, 2019–20. Bronze, internal steel armature, paint, concrete. Without plinth: H. 110 1/4 x W. 24 1/2 x D. 23 5/8 in. (280 x 62 x 60 cm); with plinth: H. 149 5/8 x W. 59 x D. 59 in. (380 x 150 x 150 cm). Courtesy XU ZHEN® and James Cohan, New York. Photograph courtesy of the artist. This work was commissioned by Asia Society Museum, New York, for the inaugural Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone.

Location: The Park Avenue Malls at East 70th Street
Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix, 2019-2020

Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix, 2019–20. Bronze, internal steel armature, paint, concrete. Without plinth: H. 110 1/4 x W. 24 1/2 x D. 23 5/8 in. (280 x 62 x 60 cm); with plinth: H. 149 5/8 x W. 59 x D. 59 in. (380 x 150 x 150 cm). Courtesy XU ZHEN® and James Cohan, New York. Photograph courtesy of the artist. This work was commissioned by Asia Society Museum, New York, for the inaugural Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone.

Location: The Park Avenue Malls at East 70th Street
Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix (detail), 2019-2020

Xu Zhen®, Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix (detail), 2019–20. Bronze, internal steel armature, paint, concrete. Without plinth: H. 110 1/4 x W. 24 1/2 x D. 23 5/8 in. (280 x 62 x 60 cm); with plinth: H. 149 5/8 x W. 59 x D. 59 in. (380 x 150 x 150 cm). Courtesy XU ZHEN® and James Cohan, New York. Photograph courtesy of the artist. This work was commissioned by Asia Society Museum, New York, for the inaugural Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone.

Location: The Park Avenue Malls at East 70th Street
XU ZHEN®, Eternity - Painted Terracotta Statue of Heavenly Guardian, Sleeping Muse, 2016

XU ZHEN®, Eternity - Painted Terracotta Statue of Heavenly Guardian, Sleeping Muse, 2016. Bronze, mineral composites, mineral pigments, steel. H. 79 1/8 x W. 33 5/8 x D. 14 5/3 in. (201 x 85.5 x 45 cm); H. 82 5/8 x W. 37 3/8 x D. 17 5/8 in. (210 x 95 x 45 cm); H. 86 1/2 x W. 38 1/8 x D. 19 5/8 in. (220 x 97 x 50 cm; H. 92 7/8 x W. 40 1/8 x D. 23 1/2 in. (236 x 102 x 60 cm); H. 99 1/8 x W. 49 1/8 x D. 30 1/4 in. (252 x 125 x 77 cm); Edition of 3. © XU ZHEN ®. Courtesy XU ZHEN ®. Photograph courtesy of XU ZHEN®

Installation view

Xu Zhen®️. Installation View: Movement Field, 2018, James Cohan, New York. © XU ZHEN®. Courtesy the artist and James Cohan, New York. Photographer: Phoebe d'Huerle

Xu Zhen’s practice incorporates provocative sculptures, paintings, installations, and interventions that confront sociopolitical taboos in contemporary China and belie western assumptions of Chinese art and commerce. The artist received a degree from the Shanghai Arts & Crafts Institute in 1996. In 2009, Xu subsumed his individual artistic identity to become what he calls an “art creation company” named MadeIn. In 2013, MadeIn launched the brand Xu Zhen, redundantly making Xu a product of his own corporation. This circuitous, multifaceted identity humorously subverts notions relating to craftsmanship, originality versus mass production, appropriation and authorship, agency, and the effects of digital-era globalization on the art market.


Eternity—Male Figure, Statue of Venus Genetrix is a suite of three nearly identical sculptures. Two appear inside the Asia Society Museum galleries, and one is placed on the Park Avenue median adjacent to Asia Society. Each cast is taken from replicas of an eleventh-century male figure from Cambodia that is in the Asia Society Museum Collection and a second-century Roman figure of Venus Genetrix, which is in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum. The appropriation and replication of these classical statues—deemed to be among the highest benchmarks of Asian and western civilizations, respectively, and included in iconic western collections—address entrenched Eurocentric hierarchies within the art-historical canon and subtly allude to complex issues related to provenance, patrimony, and connoisseurship in the United States, especially in relation to historical collecting practices of premodern, non-western art. 

Commission partially supported by Twin Farms in honor of Thurston Twigg-Smith (Twigg).

Supported in-kind by James Cohan Gallery.

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