Tate Gallery’s acquisition of Zhang Peili’s work 30×30

We are delighted to report that the Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery approved the acquisition of work 30x30, 1988, 1/1 AP, which has been purchased with funds provided by the Asia Pacific Acquisition Committee, through Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing. 

This Key work of Zhang Peili was considered by many to be the first piece of video art produced in China. We are looking forward to including it in future displays at Tate sites. 

In the key work 30x30, considered by many to be the first piece of video art produced in China, the viewer witnesses the artist repeatedly if dispassionately smashing a mirror with dimensions of 30x30 cm into pieces and then repairing it by gluing the shards back together. Reacting to the increasing popularity of mass entertainment and home television, the work employs an aesthetics of boredom to challenge mass media viewing conventions and mock the social consequences of popular television. The work also reflects a backlash towards the narcissism and passive spectatorship of the era, opening up a possibility of critique that would be continued for at least a decade. As with several such earlier works, the process continues for approximately 180 minutes, precisely until the video tape in the camera runs out—this durational aspect is an important aspect of the definition of the action within post-studio contemporary art.