As curator, gallerist and head of a company, Xu Zhen is one of the most inventive artists of his generation. After studying at the Shanghai Arts & Crafts Institute, he began making performance videos and installations in the late 1990s, applying his ironic vision to products of consumer society and the art world.
In Shouting (1998) we see a crowd from the back, who turn round automatically when they hear the artist shouting. ShangART Supermarket (2007) is a replica of a Chinese shop, filled with empty packaging. Alongside his artistic work, in 1998 Zhen founded BizArt, the first non-profit arts centre in Shanghai, and helped launch Art-Ba-Ba, an online forum about Chinese contemporary art. In 2009, Zhen brought his own artistic identity to an end when he created MadeIn Company, set up to produce art, carry out research, stage exhibitions and publish catalogues. It also has a website and gallery. Playing on the phrase “made in China” but also on the Chinese expression “society without borders”, the company questions the limits of art and merchandise, the principles of the art market and the unicity of the oeuvre, assimilating his creations into "products" so that the name of Xu Zhen also becomes a brand.