An image of The boy who sticks out his tongue

Zhang Xiaogang

(China 1958 – )

The boy who sticks out his tongue

Other titles:
Not on display
Further information

‘There is in Zhang’s work a disturbing sense of detachment. The cool, impersonal face of the baby (beautiful, soft, oddly uniform though it is) seems to represent an ideal that is ambiguous in its obvious, almost flagrant, confrontation with the viewer. Yet the face remains unapproachable and unattainable. With a subtle sleekness Zhang expresses so many of the dilemmas facing modern China: the urgent quest for engagement with the world without prejudice to its own values and traditions, the tension between public and private, between collective good and private ambition, between self - so strongly illustrated in this image – and society. With its limpid eyes and hint of happy impertinence, this strangely mature baby infers the contradictory senses of confidence and vulnerability. Zhang Xiaogang, who teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts in Chengdu, Sichuan province, represents, in both his style and broader social and human concerns, a gregarious and imaginative new spirit in Chinese painting.’

‘The Asian Collections: Art Gallery of New South Wales’. pg.179
© 2003 Trustees, Art Gallery of New South Wales

Place of origin
oil on canvas
200.0 x 260.0 cm
Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., corner, in Chinese, inscribed "Zhang Xiaogang 2001".
Signed l.r., corner, in Chinese, inscribed "Zhang Xiaogang".

Purchased 2002
Accession number
© Zhang Xiaogang