In the mid 2000s, already known for controversial performance works in his native China and in the U.S., the contemporary artist Zhang Huan turned to painting, but with a special technique. He visited Buddhist monasteries, where he collected incense; he then used the ash in sculptures and paintings that touch on religious ritual as well as the process of death and decay. In his first exhibition in Russia, the breadth of Zhang Huan’s work is on display, including stunning wood bas-reliefs whose subjects come from paintings that hang in the Hermitage. —E.C.
State Hermitage Museum Palace Square, 2, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 190000 Get Directions »