Zhang Enli’s work is in dialogue with the light and layered qualities of traditional Chinese brush painting, and at the same time incorporates urban and domestic objects drawn from components of modern life. Integral to his thought processes are memories of Shanghai in the 1990s and the material wealth and cultural revolution specific to this time. His early paintings explore figurative and still life compositions, where bodies are depicted smoking, eating and interacting. Recognizing the importance of the city he calls home, the artist remembers ‘changes in urban life, changes in our personal life, and also in material culture’, and how ‘that kind of expression has become more important for me today’.
Zhang Enli’s art stands in opposition to the cynical realism and political Pop of his contemporaries and predecessors.
'Born in the province of Jilin, China, Zhang Enli creates paintings that reposition the prosaic that is found in the everyday. '