Curator: Zhang Xiao

Many of Zhang Xiao’s early works were grand narrative projects inspired by geography. He recorded mundane life through his snapshots. His images were endowed with a sense of surrealism because of the absurdity generated in the rapidly developing China. As in They and Coastline, Zhang Xiao captured the subtle relationship between social reality and the state of individuals under the historical context. 


In the following years, Zhang Xiao shifted his focus to the hometown, concentrated on the specific region and people related to his personal experience, and completed works like Shift, Elder Sister, and Sweet Love. Through these works, he explored the complexity of China’s rural society across various dimensions and applied different medium beyond photography with the creative process.


In 1871, American missionary John Livingston Nevius and his wife brought the western apple seedlings collected from the United States and Europe to Yantai and planted them in the southeast foothills of Yuhuangding Mountain, named after Guangxing Orchard. A new era of apple cultivation in China started. As the main industry in Zhang Xiao’s hometown, apples are cultivated in every family, and most people’s life revolves around apples. In this exhibition, Zhang Xiao continues to meditate on the experience and reality of his hometown Yantai. He intertwines the complicated treads through apple, a specific object closely related to the local people, and presents the rural status quo in China under the background of apple industrialization.


All images of Apple

© Zhang Xiao

Courtesy of the artist

About the Artist:

Zhang Xiao, born in 1981 in Yantai City, currently lives and works in Chengdu City, Sichuan province, China. Zhang Xiao graduated from the Department of Architecture and Design at Yantai University in 2005. He was a photojournalist for Chongqing Morning Post. Zhang won the Three Shadows Photography Award in 2010 with Theyseries. He Also received the second Hou Dengke Documentary Photography Award in 2009. The Photography Talent Award (France) in 2010 and the Prix HSBC pour la Photographie in 2011 with his Coastlineseries.