ZHANG, Hai was born in Kunming, China in 1976. In 2000, after his graduation of the college in Chongqing, he moved to the US. Since then, he has lived in Alabama, Miami, Washington, DC and New York City. Before he was able to devote himself to photographic work, he worked for the renowned architect, Rafael Vinoly, for several years.
ZHANG is interested in photography as a vital tool to investigate the context whether alien or familiar. While he has dedicated a great deal of energy and time to photograph in China and the Deep South of the US, he has also traveled to Costa Rica, Russia and Southeast Asia for projects.
ZHANG is also interested in making photography books not for a presentation but an integral investigative process to examine the subjects and photography itself. He has been applying the permutation and variation in book making for his short and long term projects as well as subject matters.
In 2013, ZHANG had his first major solo exhibition at la Galerie Voies Off, Arles, France, and in the following year Luise Ross Gallery, New York mounted his first solo exhibition to survey his photographs across extensive time span and geographic locations. In July 2013, with la Galerie Voies Off and la Galerie à Ciel Ouvert both in Arles, France, ZHANG realized his first monumental scale public art project with his works from China in Griffeuille, Arles, a public housing complex that has complex social history in France. Also in 2013, ZHANG was selected as one of 20 photographers from multipal countries for a photographic expedition in Russia. Later, the photographs were exhibited at Russia Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
ZHANG was nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2014.
ZHANG’s works were also included in exhibitions surveying the photography in modern and contemporary Chinese social landscape in Bursa International Photo Festival, Turkey (2012) and Chobi Mela VII, Bangladesh (2013) both curated by Robert Pledge. Since 2005, he has participated in several group exhibitions examining the immigrants’ social identity in a foreign country including Aphasia (2005) at the Asian American Art Centre, New York and America through A Chinese Lens (2012) at the Museum of Chinese in America, New York. ZHANG Hai was a fellow of Rafael Vinoly Architecture Research Fellowship from 2009 to 2010. Currently, ZHANG commutes between the US, China and Europe