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H u a n Z h a n g

A Gift for the Future


My mother won this for writing essays when she was working in the shoe factory.


Is there something meaning nothing or useless to someone else

but

very

precious to you. My story should begin with an old album from

my

mother’s

collection. It shows how

the

lives

of

Chinese people have changed in the last 30 years. It shows how their hairstyle has changed, how the

fashion

trend

changed and how the economy influences people’s lifestyle.


Ink and colour on paper portrait of my mother 90cm*180cm

It is a poem my mother’s friend wrote to her to encourage each other make their dreams come true.


When a person dies they have nothing. The only things left are how other people feel about them Now, I try to use color and lines to show how I feel about my grandmother. I believe that the end point of her life is the last person who has memories of her. I painted a lot of pictures in my life. I took many photos in the past. But when people ask me which picture is the most important for me my mind keeps returning to this photo.


paper onpaper coloron andcolor inkand ink 40cm*40cm 40cm*40cm

王秀 秀兰 兰 王


It is my grandmother who raised me up. Before I went to kindergarten, my grandmother and I were living together. She died after the first year I moved to Ireland. She disappeared from my world so naturally, because it was me who left her first. Now, I think back on the last time I saw her face, the last time I talked to her by phone and the last time I heard her talk about me through other people.


格子


点点袄罩


Sometimes life is very cruel. Thinking back over those years, even when we weren’t living together, I feel she was always concerned about me. She was doing a lot of things for me, but now I cannot do anything for her. I felt very moved by what she has done for me. Even if these feelings are not very obvious today. I am sure there is no one who will love me like she did. I thought I knew what kind of person my grandmother was.


She was a kind-hearted and simple person. After my grandmother died, one time, my mother told me the things I didn’t know about my grandmother. She had a nice family, she lost her son ... When a person dies they have nothing. The only things left are how other people feel about them. Now, I try to use color and lines to show how I feel about my grandmother. If someone else asks me about my grandmother, I will tell them her story. I will tell my child and grandchild there is a woman like her who was living in this word. I believe that the end point of her life is the last person who has memories of her.


I still remember my grandmother made a skirt for me the same as this pattern. White cream with red cherries.


碎花 布

格子

麻花

点点袄罩

格子

麻花

点点袄罩


麻花

点点袄罩

碎花布

麻花

格子

点点袄罩

格子


I could not find a good way to explain why I draw a picture about myself. Every single time, when I look at the eyes I tell myself that someone else’s vision will never be as good as my own vision of myself. Living and dying with it. Because in the end, that’s all I have. Lose it? I lose myself and everything else.


ink ink and and color colour on soft on paper soft paper


oil on canvas 90cm*90cm


I suppose that in every painting there is all of your life coming back to you. Not just a flower or a piece of bone or sky. That is just what you see at the end when the work is finished.


But at the start, when you look at the empty canvas you see your whole life coming back to you.


Chinese style painting


Better to let the picture speak on its own, helped along with some words.


Chinese style painting


This is a gift for the future


A Gift for the Future was produced within Young Curators, Digital Design and the Living Archive project - a pioneering exploration of the growing interplay between curation and new technologies, encouraging emerging young artists to incorporate the digital into their creative practice in addition to accessing museum collections and gallery spaces.

A Pivotal Arts Studio (previously FOMACS) and Chester Beatty Library collaborative learning project, supported by the Arts Council Ireland, Dublin City Council and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, with additional support from the Wellcome Trust.

Š Huan Zhang

A Gift for the Future  

Huan Zhang tells the story of her grandmother, her mother and herself.

A Gift for the Future  

Huan Zhang tells the story of her grandmother, her mother and herself.

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