Jiajia Zhang

You Left Something Behind

22 April – 1 October 2023, Kunstmuseum St.Gallen


The first solo museum exhibition by Jiajia Zhang (*1981 Hefei, China) focuses on the relationship between private and public space, which is being redefined by social media such as YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. The line between what is deemed “public” and “private” has blurred in unprecedented ways, leading to the emergence of what the artist describes as an “intimate public.” Zhang translates this notion into a spatial setting for her exhibition.

Next to three existing video works, the show brings together new video, sculpture, photography and drawing, all made exclusively for the show, within a scenography created for the specific architecture of the sublevel gallery of Kunstmuseum St.Gallen. The artist uses the lack of daylight, the crude materiality of concrete and artificial stone, and the long corridors to create an, at times, oppressive setting reminiscent of urban non-places such as underpasses or parking garages. Zhang punctuates this setting with moments of domesticity and warmth. Selected artworks from the museum’s collection (by David Bürkler, Ayşe Erkmen, Sylvie Fleury, Rita McBride, Pablo Picasso, Michael E. Smith und Andreas Schulze) are also part of Zhang’s presentation.

The show is accompanied by a publication, created in collaboration with Jungle Books, St. Gallen.

Curated by Melanie Bühler

The Artist

Jiajia Zhang

*1980 Hefei, China
Lives and works in Zurich

Jiajia Zhang lives and works in Zürich. She studied architecture at ETH, Zürich, and photography at the International Center of Photography, New York, and completed her Master of Fine Arts at Zürcher Hochschule der Künste in 2020. Her work has been part of numerous exhibitions, including at Fluentum, Berlin; Swiss Art Awards, Basel; FriArt, Fribourg; and Fondation d’entreprise Pernod Ricard, Paris. She had her first solo exhibition at Coalmine, Winterthur in 2021.

The exhibition Jiajia Zhang  You Left Something Behind is made possible through the generous support of the Erna und Curt Burgauer Stiftung, Ernst und Olga Gubler-Hablützel Stiftung, Georg und Josi Guggenheim Stiftung and Landis & Gyr Stiftung.