In 1998 Zhang Huan was invited to New York to participate in Asia Society’s exhibition Inside Out: New Chinese Art and decided to remain in the city. In his new home, he embarked upon ambitious performances that continued to focus on the body and its physicality and often involved large numbers of volunteers. Through his performances, Zhang Huan reflected on his experiences in the city and his ethnic identity in a foreign land. In a series of commissioned performances developed in New York called My America (Hard to Acclimatize), he explored issues of belonging and assimilation in a globalized world. The series included My New York (performed at the Whitney Biennial), My Australia, My Rome, My Sydney, My Japan and My Boston and expressed Zhang Huan’s responses to different geographical locations.

“I try to understand each new situation. I combine impressions of China with local culture, what people
call ‘glocal.’ It’s about going from one place to another, and bringing what you have to offer to each new place. Sometimes I understand the experience, sometimes not.”


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