Ban Zhang Zhe became interested in sculpture during his early years in Hong Kong while working as a photographer, before a grant from the Taiwanese government took him to Kaohsiung’s Pier 2 Art District to be part of a community programme.
There he found a new, surprising level of inspiration and support. "They provided enough space and money for basic living so that I could reflect on my identity as an artist without pressure."
Zhang, has worked in solitary studio spaces since, he still prefers the collective environment and can now be found among a host of artists at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC) in Hong Kong’s Shek Kip Mei. Here he creates vast metal installations, incorporating graphics and photography,using materials found on the site.
While Zhang likes to explore themes of economic and social change in the city around him, he provokes emotional responses through the surprising use of materials. As part of the opening exhibition at the JCCAC, which celebrated its transformation from a factory estate into an emerging art hub, Zhang manipulated an abandoned tangle of plastic hangers to explore the relationship between substance and space, art and industry.