Born in Yangzhou, Jiangsu, Sanzi is part of China’s earliest generation of academically trained painters. In his early life, Mr. Sanzi worked blue-collared jobs in order to support his artistic career: what was considered “government jobs”, or “iron bowls” (铁饭碗), in China, in the 80s. In the early 2000s, Sanzi was able to achieve a major breakthrough in his career as his work received critical acclaim from collectors in Taiwan and parts of Southeast Asia.

Sanzi is one of the few Chinese artists currently represented by the famous Taglialatella Galleries, and in Art Basel Miami, 2011, his work was displayed on the same stage as artists such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, and Andrew Wyeth as part of Taglialatella Galleries’ exhibition.

“Little people” is a motif used in many of Sanzi’s works. In his own words, these characters represent all of us seeking the way of life in this world. Through these “little people”, Sanzi tries to tell us, regardless of who and where we are in the world, different people’s actions made up the “Tao”. Sometimes these characters represent ordinary tales of madness, and some represent the passersby simply making up part of the scenery. Everything we do, at any given moment, consists of our past experiences, our ideation of the future, and our reception of the current reality. That is Tao.

The word “Zi” in Chinese carries the meaning of mentor. It means a master of thoughts and someone who devotes his life to teaching others. It is also pronounced the same as the end syllable in names such as “Confucius" or “Lao Tze”. As for the word “San”, it presents a kind of mentality in the world of Taoism. A free-flowing state of wandering, and being amongst the environment as one. Combined together, Mr. Sanzi tries to use his artistic persona to teach us his ways, it’s the way of Tao, but it’s also the way of life.

© Gong Gallery