The Shanghai-based artist discusses his new collaboration with Fortnum & Mason and the importance of showing art outside of gallery spaces
‘Fortnum’s X Zhang Enli’ sees 19 never-before-seen paintings, including a 6-metre site-specific work, commissioned specially from the renowned Chinese artist take over Fortnum’s flagship London store.
‘The works will be spread out and displayed on each floor of the building’, the artist explains in his Shanghai studio. ‘I don’t think art should be limited to galleries or exclusive spaces; it should be easily accessible to all people’.
Inspired by the artist’s increased travel to and across the UK over the past year, the newly-commissioned works for ‘Fortnum’s X Zhang Enli’ draw on the artist’s impressions of the Scottish countryside and suburbia surrounding London, harness themes of mapping, travel, immigration and relocation.
Resembling landscapes as if seen from an aerial viewpoint, and encased in grid-like structures, these topographical watercolours expand Zhang’s depiction of natural forms, while his expressive use of line shows the ongoing influence of traditional Chinese brush painting.