He Zhang


Zhang He was born in Shen Yang, China in 1963. He specialized in oil painting at the LuXun Institute of Art after completing studies in Photography and Stage Design. Zhang He moved to Montreal, Canada in 1998 where he currently lives and works.

In his refusal to settle on easy formulae, the artist has induced a process of constant reinvention that has given his art extraordinary power and momentum over the past decade. He’s bright paintings have developed from depictions of abstracted plants, flowers and figures to full on visual abstraction. His vigorous abstractions range from austere studies in movement and energy to exuberant explosions of color that express the ever-changing landscape of his emotions. Gestural power and luminous hues reflect the verve and freedom of Chinese calligraphy, while each painting is a journey of self-discovery, continual exploration, and personal transformation.

The artist’s energy and ruptured use of colour place him close to European expressionism.  He embraces this association, while maintaining a close relationship to the traditions of Chinese oil painting.  The concept of Chi is integral to He’s work. In traditional Chinese culture, Chi is believed to be part of everything that exists, as in “life force” or “spiritual energy”. Chi serves as a metaphor for the fundamental physical properties of the universe.

There is an affinity to Jean-Paul Riopelle, Emile Borduas and the Automatistes of Quebec who were influenced by surrealism and automatism. Their painting and writing were concerned with spontaneous production without preconception. While Riopelle’s painting implies a more calculated landscaping of the canvas, Zhang He’s strongly illustrates spontaneity of the sub-conscious that was closely affiliated with the Automatiste objective. This spontaneity, along with He’s lyrical brushstrokes, skillful mixing of colour and sculptural impasto, result in a delicious palette.  With paint like hot lava, the artwork of Zhang He surges onto the canvas. His bold strokes of colour and luminous hues are gorgeous and seductive, evoking energy and passion, sensuality and angst, adding emotion to his contemporary style.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2019 Odon Wagner Contemporary, Toronto ON
2016 Odon Wagner Contemporary, Toronto ON
2015 Z Art Space, Montreal, QC
2013 Chun, Odon Wagner Contemporary, Toronto, ON
2011 Gallery DeNovo, Ketchum, ID
Chinese Artist Contemporary Arts Exhibition-1, Thailand National Gallery
International Art Meeting, Collective Art Show, Florence, Italy
2010 John Scotti Jaguar-Land Rover: New Model Exhibition, Montreal, QC
Odon Wagner Contemporary, Toronto, ON
International Biennale Artist MIAMI, Nina Torres Fine Art Gallery, Miami, FL
2009 Artbank Gallery, Beijing, China
Biennale Internazionale dell’Arte Contemporanea, Florence, Italy
Continuum: Abstraction from Canada, Sunshine Art Museum, Songzhuang, China
2008 Luxun Art Institute, Shenyang, China
Galerie d’Este, Montreal, QC
2007 Odon Wagner Contemporary, Toronto, ON
Galerie Pangée, Montréal, QC
Group Show, Galerie d’Este, Montreal, QC
2004 Abstractions of Spring, Gallery DeNovo, Ketchum, ID
2003 HAN ART, Montreal, QC
2002 Gallery DeNovo, Ketchum, ID
Galerie au Fond de la Cour, Paris, France
Entitlement, Association of Contemporary Chinese Canadian Artist, Toronto, ON
1999 Musée du Québec, Québec City, QC
1991 Galerie Jordan, Montréal, QC
1990 Chinese Canadian Art Gallery, Toronto, ON

Select Group Exhibitions

2011-19 Art Toronto, Odon Wagner Contemporary, Toronto, ON
2011 International Biennale Artists Show, LuminArte Gallery, Dallas, TX
Chinese Artist Contemporary Arts Exhibition, Thailand National Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand
International Art Meeting-Collective Art Show, Florence, Italy
2010 International Biennale Artist MIAMI, Nina Torres Fine Art Gallery, Miami, FL
ll Palaclo Gipsoteca Libero Museum Andreottl, Pescla, Italy
2008 Sunshine Art Museum, Beijing, China
Art Westmount, Montreal, QC
ShangHai High Noon Art & Culture Centre, Shanghai, China
2007 Galerie d’Este, Montreal, QC
2006 Elliott Louis Gallery Canadian Fine Art, Vancouver, BC
2004 Gallery DeNovo, Ketchum, ID
2002 ACCCA (Association of Contemporary Chinese Canadian Artists), Toronto, ON
1987, 89, 92 China Culture and Art “National Art Exhibition” Shanghai, China

Notable Public and Private Collections

IACO Intl Aviation Corp, Montreal, QC
Pfiffner Mgmt, Montreal, QC & Zurich
Lise Watier Intl, Montreal, QC, Paris
Monit International, Montreal, QC
Hot & Spicy Inc, Canada & China
L’EQUIPE Uomo Montreal, QC
Ta Yu association
Bertrand Deslauriers, Bureau des Avocats
Association du Nouveau Monde, Hong Kong
Studio Verstile ltee Inc. Montreal, QC
Graphic Design Studio Paul Tom Inc. Montreal, QC
Howard Szalavetz Properties Montreal, QC
Purchase & Rental- Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal, QC
Cormark Securities Inc, Toronto
Elements, Toronto, ON
HUI Architecte, Montreal, QC


Specialist in Oil Painting, LiaoNing ShenYang LuXun Art Institute, China
Studies in Stage Design, LiaoNing University of Cultural Arts, China
Studies in Photography, Edition and Direction, Beijing Institute of Communication