Vanguard gallery

An Unlikely Menagerie And The Resulting Chaos


An Unlikely Menagerie And The Resulting Chaos

Artists: Chen Xingye, Dai Zhankun, Zhang Wenzhi






Vanguard Gallery is pleased to announce “An Unlikely Menagerie And The Resulting Chaos”, a group exhibition showcasing representative works and new creations by artists Chen Xingye, Dai Zhankun, and Zhang Wenzhi, opening in January 2024. The exhibition resembles a gathering of mystical scenarios and a menagerie of unlikely creatures, attempting to reveal the origins and undercurrents of the chaotic world.





Chen Xingye  Untitled
Canvas paper, acrylic, PLAKA matte paint, color ink, collage
41 x 31 cm|2017



Chen Xingye’s works continue to illustrate the sensory and aesthetic threads of power itself. In his new pieces, volcanic eruptions dominate the imagery as an undeniable driving force, with its kinetic energy conveyed through a series of images and dynamics. The symbolism in this work traverses the boundaries of popular culture and historical civilizations, evoking sensory impacts beyond the visual realm. Chen Xingye orchestrates his paintings like managing a rock concert, responding to his ongoing exploration between visuals and sound.





Dai Zhankun  Illuminator
Copper, aluminum, light emitting components
160 x 40 x 40  cm|2023



Dai Zhankun’s “Dragon Slaying” series constructs monuments with unexpected materials, imbuing them with a sense of eternity. These materials, with their dark metallic sheen and cold industrial feel, are actual missile wreckage that, under the artist’s reconstruction, gains a new life as “swords to plowshares.” With bold concepts and occasional absurdity, Dai Zhankun transforms real-world weapons into embodiments of classical heroism or installations full of metaphor and corrective intent, intervening in the discourse competition regarding force and power in a unique manner.





Zhang Wenzhi  Song of the Deer Gods
Mixed media on rice paper
49.5 x 90 cm|2020



Zhang Wenzhi envisions introducing possibilities outside absolute rationality back into the real world. His reference system draws from classical knowledge, metaphors, literary imagery, and beyond. His images appear to couple Chinese epigraphy with Western cabinets of curiosities, reinstating the symbolic aura of geopolitical and historical heritage. Zhang Wenzhi’s creations reimagine the pre-modern crossroads of the East Asian history, questioning recorded history and unyielding monuments, deconstructing and subverting them within endless fantasies.






Installation View











Chen Xingye

Born in Qinhuangdao, Hebei Province, China in1987. Graduated from Animation department of Tianjin University in 2010. Now works and lives in Beijing. The paintings of Chen Xingye reveal his fascination towards apes, creatures that have mirror effect for human beings. The artist uses contemporary expression to describe his imagination for the primeval age as a modern man, but also for the future. The exaggerated muscular body is undoubtedly the totem of primitive power. Is there same connection between the primeval age and present under the illusion of power? “Ape” is just the object of imagination, thus these imagined images reflect our self-examination and the balance between ourselves and present environment, reality and nihility, past and future.

Recent Solo Exhibitions: 2020  “High Fidelity”, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai, China.

Group Exhibitions: 2024  “An Unlikely Menagerie And The Resulting Chaos”, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai, China; 2023  “Painting Tiny Times, 33ml offspace, Shanghai, China; 2023  “A Bee’s Wing Dropping Onto Your Cheek”, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; 2017  “Pieces”, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai, China.




Dai Zhankun

Born in Jiujiang, China in 1995, currently lives and works in Shanghai. “Searching” and “accident” are the roots of Dai Zhankun’s creation. In his view, the acquisition of real-world images has a certain fit with the act of taking screenshots in digital scenes, and he tried to ask a series of questions about it. The truth can be redefined, and the virtual and the real are invading each other. He is good at using simple pictures and installations to guide the audience into intricate layers, and his attention to social issues such as force, power, and identity is invisible on the surface and hidden behind.

Recent Exhibitions: 2023 “At Sunrise and Sunset, Tides Rise and Fall”, Qimu Space, Beijing; 2022 “THE EXHIBITION OF ANNUALOF CONTEMPORARY ART OF CHINA SHANGHAI”, Shanghai Doland Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai; 2022 “Spicy Gluten and Youth Power: A Generational Insight”, Epoch Art Museum, Wenzhou; 2022 “Fairytale of Carrots”, Paral, Hangzhou; 2022 “WAVELENGTH: Vi3ion x”, Lizhu Art Space, Hunan; 2021 “Ultimate High Ground”, 33ml offspace, Shanghai; 2021 “La Menagarie royale de Versailles”, Himalayas Museum, Shanghai; 2021 “DOMO CARNIVAL”, West Bund Dome, Shanghai; 2021 “Hereditary domain”, Powerlong Museum; 2021 Personal Project, M50 PEARLONA COMMON ROOM, Shanghai; 2021 ”Freefall”, 33ml offspace, Shanghai; 2020 West Bund Art & Design DREAM video, Shanghai; 2020 ”Back Light”, 33ml offspace, Shanghai; 2020 “Speed Limit Scenery”, SEEYOO Art Space, Hangzhou; 2019 “Chelsea Summer Show”, Chelsea College of Arts, London; 2019 “Late at Tate Britain”, Tate Britain, London; 2019 Sympathetic Visage, London; 2019 “Zhankun Dai/ Jingxiang Liang”, Galerie 106, London.




Zhang Wenzhi

Born in Dalian, China in 1993. Most of Zhang Wenzhi’s works employ the medium of ink on paper and installation. His practice is primarily based on his search of Asian mythology and the modern history of Northeast Asia. Zhang also collects the archival materials and specimens of native animals and plants in Northeast Asia, which is also an integral part of his creative process and final work.He is currently based between Beijing and Dalian. 

Education: 2018 MA, The School of Experimental Art, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China;2015 BA, The School of Experimental Art, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China.

Recent Solo Exhibitions: 2022  “Zhang Wenzhi: The Northern Hills”, ART LABOR Gallery, Shanghai; 2020  “Zhang Wenzhi: Alice’s Natural History Museum”, ART LABOR Gallery, Shanghai; 2019  “Zhang Wenzhi: The Journal of The Black Dragon”, ART LABOR Gallery, Shanghai.

Group Exhibitions: 2021 “BOOMERANG–OCAT Biennale 2021”, Shenzhen; 2020  “ART POWER 100”, Garry Culture Center, Beijing; 2020  “AnrenBiennale: A Confrontation of Ideals”, AnrenOld Town, Sichuan; 2019  “Wo Art CHAO:Imaginary warehouse”,CHAO Art Center, Beijing; 2019  “Something out of Nothing”, Field Art Center, Beijing; 2019  “Growth”, ART LABOR Gallery, Shanghai; 2018  “Extending Space: 2018 DongguanSculpture and Installation Art Festival, DongguanCulture Center, Guangdong; 2018  “Nova 100 Opening Exhibition”, Guardian Art Center, Beijing; 2018  “Four Directions”, Chambers Fine Art, Beijing ; 2018  “Glancing at Contemporary Chinese Artists: Insights into Tradition and Beyond”, Delegation of the European Union to China, Beijing; 2016  “Kezikeshe : 666666666”, Cipa Gallery, Beijing.