This interview was conducted at East China Normal University, Shanghai on 3 March 2009.


Zhang Jianjun (b. 1955, Shanghai) is an artist and professor in the Department of Art and Art Professions at New York University’s (NYU) Steinhardt School and is also involved with the Shanghai Center of NYU’s Shanghai campus.

In 1978, Zhang graduated from the Department of Fine Arts at the Shanghai Drama Institute. In 1983, he participated in the ‘’83 Experimental Painting' exhibition held at Fudan University in Shanghai. In 1987, Zhang became an assistant to the Director of the Shanghai Art Museum and received a fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council to visit the United States. Upon his return to Shanghai, Zhang took part in the performance The Last Supper and participated in the ‘China/Avant-Garde Exhibition’ at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing (1989).

Zhang moved to New York in 1989 and began teaching at NYU’s Steinhardt School in 1997. Since 2007, he has been teaching at NYU’s New York and Shanghai campuses. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he continues to make art and recently participated in ‘Turn to Abstract: A Retrospective of Shanghai Experimental Art from 1976 to 1985’ (Shanghai, 2008).



1997年起,在美國紐約大學Steinhardt School任教。2007年,紐約大學於上海設立教學中心,張健君也來往兩地教學。教學之外,亦持續創作。近年參與的展覽包括《轉向抽象:1976—1985上海實驗藝術回顧展》(2008,上海)等。


In 2006, Asia Art Archive began a focused archiving project called 'Materials of the Future: Documenting Contemporary Chinese Art from 1980-1990'. This project aimed at developing a comprehensive collection of primary research materials including books, periodicals, newspapers, exhibition brochures, invitations, video recordings, correspondence, and other relevant documents. 

As part of this project, AAA digitised more than 80,000 items of material from personal archives to include artists Mao Xuhui, Wu Shanzhuan, Zhang Xiaogang, and Zhang Peili; curators and critics Fei Dawei, Lu Peng, and Zheng Shengtian; as well as the archives of Tokyo Art Gallery. As part of the research process over 75 in-depth interviews with key artists, curators, and critics were conducted. From a portion of these interviews, AAA created a documentary film about experimental art in South China (Guangzhou) in the 1980s entitled From Jean-Paul Sartre to Teresa Teng: Contemporary Cantonese Art in the 1980s.

AAA’s 1980s archiving project culminated with the launch of a comprehensive website portal called in September 2010.

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Interview: Zhang Jianjun (English subtitles)