The process of making felt painting is my response to memory and its waning, which proves the unique temporal nature of painting itself.

— Zhang Yunyao

Zhang Yunyao was born in Shanghai, China in 1985 and graduated from the Department of Oil Paintings from Academy of Fine Arts at Shanghai Normal University in 2007.


Through the use of non-traditional painting media and surfaces, Zhang Yunyao explores the temporal nature of painting, as well as the instability and intersections of historical and personal memory. Taking as his subjects biblical, classical, and mythological scenes immortalized by the master sculptors and painters of antiquity, Zhang renders his tableaux with hallucinatory precision, using notoriously unpredictable materials such as graphite and pastel on felt, which itself is unabsorbtive and prone to pilling. The artist’s slow and meticulous process of drafting and rubbing result in a hazy, textured surface with an abundance of depth and tone. His choice to often superimpose images, creating the illusion of a photographic double exposure, contributes to the rich materiality of his paintings that seem to make tangible the sensation of time itself. 


His works have been widely exhibited in various institutions such as Watou Arts Festival (Belgium, 2021), Musée Fenaille (Rodez, 2021) within an exhibition co-curated and co-organized with Musée du Louvre, chi K11 Art Museum (Shanghai, 2016), CAFA Art Museum (Beijing, 2015), Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai (Shanghai, 2013), etc. His solo exhibitions include 'Zhang Yunyao'  at Galerie Marguo ( Paris, 2020), 'Zhang Yunyao: Drawing Room' Asia Now Paris Asian Art Fair (Paris, 2020), 'Palace of Extasy' at Qiao Space (Shanghai, 2019), 'Skin Gesture Body' at Don Gallery (Shanghai, 2017), 'Nec Spe, Nec Metu' at Perrotin Gallery (Hong Kong, 2017), 'After Evensong' at Don Gallery (Shanghai, 2015), 'Touch Point' 01100001 Gallery (Beijing, 2013), 'Mirage' at Don Gallery (Shanghai, 2013), 'Paradbox ' at Don Gallery (Shanghai, 2011).


Born in Shanghai, China in 1985 

Lives and works in Shanghai, China and Paris, France





Graduated from Department of Painting, The Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, China


Solo Exhibitions


2020 Galerie Marguo, ‘Zhang Yunyao’, Paris, France

Asia Now, ‘Drawing Room’, Paris, France

2019 Qiao Space, ‘Palace of Extasy’, Shanghai, China
2017 Don Gallery, ‘Skin Gesture Body’, Shanghai, China

Perrotin, ‘NEC SPE, NEC METU’, Hong Kong, China

2015 Don Gallery, ‘After Evensong’, Shanghai, China
2013 Don Gallery, ‘After Evensong’, Shanghai, China
  01100001 Gallery, ‘Touch Point’, Beijing, China

Don Gallery, ‘MIRAGE’, Shanghai, China


Art Stage, ‘My Dark Life—A Story of a King and His Clown’, Singapore 

2011 Don Gallery, ‘Paradbox—A Solo Show by Zhang Yunyao’, Shanghai, China 


Group Exhibitions


2021 La Galerie Louis Vuitton, 'Louis 200 : The Exhibition', Paris, France

Zeno X Gallery, 'OFF ROAD II', Antwerp, Belgium

  Watou Arts Festival, Poperinge, Belguim
  Musée Fenaille, 'IDOLES. L’art des Cyclades et de l’Anatolie à l’Âge de bronze', Rodez, France
  Galerie Marguo, ‘Presentation of Marguo Artists’, Paris, France
2020 Summer Exhibition 2020, Royal Academy of Arts, London, United Kingdom
2019 Don Gallery, ‘Epithet Portrayed’, Shanghai, China

Don Gallery, ‘Swallow it! Summer X Bacchanal’, Shanghai, China

2018 Don Gallery, ‘Steadfastly Raise the Standards in Nonproductive Construction’, Shanghai, China
2017 Don Gallery, ‘Shanghai Dandy’, Shanghai, China
2016 chi K11 art museum, ‘We’, Shanghai, China

CAFA, ‘OBSERVER—CREATOR, The Reality Representation of Chinese Young Art’, The Second ‘CAFAM Future’ Exhibition, Beijing, China 


Don Gallery, ‘Moments’, Shanghai, China

2014 Shanghai Gallery of Art, ‘Present—Ing Recital Louder than Paint’, Shanghai, China
2013 Don Gallery, ‘Abuse’, Shanghai, China

Museum of Contemporary Art, ‘Existence – +Follow 2013’, Shanghai, China


Art Museum of Nanjing University of the Arts, ‘Polyphony—21 Kinds of State’, Nanjing, China

2012 Don Gallery, ‘Outdated’, Shanghai, China

V Art Center, ‘The Halo Effect’, Shanghai, China

2011 Don Gallery, ‘We Are Here’, Shanghai, China

Qinghe Contemporary Art Museum, ‘Daily’, Nanjing, China

  Shanghai Exhibition Center, ‘2011 SH Contemporary’, Shanghai, China

Don Gallery, ‘If...’, Shanghai, China

  Museum of Contemporary Art, ‘+Follow’, Shanghai, China

Don Gallery, ‘Xinzhuang—the Stories of Five Youths’, Shanghai, China

  Wandesford Quay Gallery, ‘Contemporary China’, Cork, Ireland
2010 Don Gallery, ‘Chorus—4 Artists’ Show’, Shanghai, China
2009 Nothingart, ‘12... 4 Berliner Treffen 8 Chinesen’, Berlin, Germany
2008 2008 Summer Auction of Chinese Works of Art, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai, China

2007 Autumn Auction of Chinese Works of Art, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai, China

  Xiangjiang Gallery, ‘Homeworld’, Shanghai, China
2006 Wu Xing Gallery, ‘Me – Us’ Painting Exhibition, Shanghai, China




2013 Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Programme