Zhang Haiying

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Zhang Haiying (born 1972) is an artist based in Songzhuang, Beijing, China.

Zhang was born in Beijing. He is a painter. His Anti-Vice Campaign series is based on images taken from the internet of women involved in the Chinese government’s crackdown on prostitution and pornography.[1][2] However, in paintings shown at Art Beijing 2007, Zhang began to move away from the previous socio-political themes present in his work.[3]

He graduated in 1997 from the Fine Arts Department of Shang Dong Academy of Fine Arts.[4]


Zhang Haying is known as a craftsmanship master.[5] Each element on his paintings works well together to create a theme or strong message. Mostly, the theme of power, depression, vulnerability and other prostitution related themes are being present. Besides, he mostly uses the Internet as his source of material. In each of the Internet photographic, he transfer it into subtle painterly manipulations. These figures in his works are designed to look "hyper-real" to communicate the message about the unequal power structures where women are the main subject.[6]

Style of painting[edit]

In response to the Government's initiative activity in eradicating prostitution and pornography, Zhang Haying started the Anti-Vice Campaign series through different series.[7] In this artistic work, Zhang Haying found pictures on the Internet to repaint them in oil canvas to reveal some non-politicised means.[8] The pictures are published illegally on the website ether for no purpose or to degrade women's societal level. There figures are either in gray or color scale. The most famous feature about these figures that they are painted in very real style, especially the women figures. Some elements in the figures such as hair, clothes and body shape are painted very carefully to show contrast in a social realist styles. Women are painted with red skirts most of the time as a stereotypical image of women who are involved in prostitution. The painter is trying to show the big contrast in these pictures. Women are being objectified. The painter is catching the audience's audience by the contrast to send uncomfortable message. There is a sense of depression and sadness underneath these pictures [1]. The artist is using these paintings to wake up the Chinese society about what is going on and asking them to stand up to take these women out of the illness system [2] In color scale works, Zhang Haiying painted women figures with red fabric and other pop sheen details that catch audiences' attention.[9] Women are objectified in these paintings to reveal an invisible message about the power inequality, depression and exclusion.

Anti Vice Campaign[edit]

The painting in the second serie is done in color scale.[10] In this color scale paintings, women are covering their faces. On the side, there is a policeman watching them with a disgusting look. The brush work is being done very carefully in this painting to fully describe the body shape as well as other feminism features. Besides, women in this picture is highlighted by the contrast of color. There is also an isolation line between the women and men figures. This art work catches audiences' attentions right away with an uncomfortable message. Women are covering their faces because they are scared and ashamed. However, the invisible message behind these figures can be about the factors that contribute to prostitution. Women are the only gender that is objectified in these paintings. Shang Haiying is revealing the power structure in which male is dominant and controlling the society. Because of the inequality, women are easily to be pushed into these prostitution structure where women are being taken advantage of. It was not a human choice but rather, they are being sold or traded into these illness system.

The painting in the 5th serie is done in the gray scale.[11] Similar to the previous painting, this art work is revealing the issue about power inequality and prostitution. In this picture, two women are painted with a monumental theme with only black and white colors, mostly black. Again, in this pictures, women's faces are not shown because of fear and shame. They are being degraded. Their integrity and hopes are being destroyed by people who are currently taking advantage of this prostitution system. Beyond that point, there is a sense of depression in these figures. Gray scale reveals a future with no hope for women. More women are being pushed into the illness prostitution system and no one can get out healthily. There is a theme of "giving-up" in this picture. The painting is also interpreted as a wake up call for people in China. Zhang Haiying is asking Chinese to look at the power structure critically and figure the ways to help these women out of this depression system. The brush work also plays an important role in this painting. The density of colors and the shades of each figures are emphasizing the message that the painter is trying to communicate.


2000 series
After the Vice Campaign Series, Zhang Haiying changes his style into dichotomy [3]. In his paintings, there are more colors with a bright tone. Some of them still contain feminism features however, his works are leading to a more open style in a way where he allows people to freely think and interpret. Besides, he still uses contrast themes to emphasize the focus point or the message that he is sending behind these pictures. Zhang Haiying also implements the layers style to draw. Each figure is overlapping with one another to form a reflection mirror. This style attracts or catches the audiences' attention right away in looking and interpreting the meanings. Different purpose of this style is to send a message about reflection and life [4]. The artist is asking each one of us to look at ourselves and to live a life in a way that will leave a good impact or reflection on other people. His popular figures are still women because he still supports for equal society where women are not being discriminated, but rather, they can be appreciated and valued like a human being [5].
2001 series
This serie is including different styles of paintings such as: Cloud Shadown 1 and 2, Looking for a star, Wayside Tree and Dream [6]. In each figure, there is a contrast in colors, earth and sky, elements and women and men. The women figures are no longer the most focus figures in these paintings [7].However, the repetition of reflection style appears in this series. Most of the paintings contain figures that overlap with the other figures. Besides, behind each painting, different messages about life and hope are being sent. For example, in the Looking for a star painting, the artist is expressing his feelings about his hope for the future and for the young generations who can change the structure of the society. Besides, his painting is under the influence of Western style, especially in this painting. The figures who are looking for a star look like the doctors who were looking for a star to know where Jesus was born. The other famous painting is the Dream art work. In this painting, the artist painted haft women and half men with a contrast scale. The artist is sending a message about the equality between men and women, that they both are created equally and stand on the same social status. Zhang Haiying is trying to build an accepting and equality social structures through his paintings [8]..

Selected exhibitions[edit]

2008 [9]
  • Scope Art, Basel
  • Art Amsterdam 2008, Amsterdam
  • ArtAsia Miami, Willem Kerseboom Gallery
  • Scope London,Willem Kerseboom Gallery
2007 [10]
  • ARTOUR-O, Florence, Italy
  • Art Beijing 2007, Beijing
  • Viewpoint, Soemo Fine Arts, Beijing Gallery, Beijing
  • contemporary art exposition Beijing
  • contemporary art exhibition-simo gallery Beijing move away from songzhuang [11]
2006 [12]
  • Out Of The Heaven, 3rd Songzhuang Artists Axhibition, Beijing
  • 1st songzhuang multimedia exhibition, Beijing
  • Out of the heaven----3rd songzhuang artists visual art exhibition Beijing [13]
2005 [14]
  • Sovereign Asia Art Foundation, Hong-Kong
  • Chinese Symbol, Nice, France
  • Dancing in the soul--------zhang haiying oil painting exhibitiojn Beijing
  • Out of the heaven---the 2nd songzhuang artist visual art exhibition Beijing
  • Destruction contemporary art exhibition Beijing
  • Splendid china Beijing
  • 1st songzhuang art festival Beijing
  • Hearsay—contemporary art show Beijing (as a curator)
2004 [15]
  • Contemporary oil painting exhibition of Songzhuang nine painters Beijing [16]
  • Out of the heaven------ 1st songzhuang artists visual art exhibition Beijing [17]
  • Chinese copy art exhibition Beijing [18]
2003 [19]
  • 100 artists group exhibition of china contemporary Beijing [20]
  • Village founding oil painting exhibition of songzhuang painter Beijing [21]
  • Six artists exhibition Beijing Today Museume [22]
2002 [23]
  • Time and space contemporary art exhibition Beijing [24]
  • Heart of chip ---songzhuang artist group show Beijing [25]
2001 [26]


  1. ^ Zhang Hiaying biography
  2. ^ Saatchi Gallery website
  3. ^ FreshPaintChina.com at Art Beijing 2007
  4. ^ Willem Kerseboom Gallery
  5. ^ Saatchi Gallery website
  6. ^ Saatchi Gallery website
  7. ^ FreshPaintChina.com at Art Beijing 2007
  8. ^ FreshPaintChina.com at Art Beijing 2007
  9. ^ FreshPaintChina.com at Art Beijing 2007
  10. ^ Saatchi Gallery website
  11. ^ Saatchi Gallery website

External links[edit]