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40 Under 40 Asia Pacific

Xu Zhen

1 September 2016

Shanghai, China

Xu Zhen is something of an enigma. A playful conceptual artist who has exhibited widely – including at the Venice Biennale, MoMA, New York, and the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo – he is also an important curator and entrepreneur who is alert to the art world’s commercial imperatives. In one signature work, his ShanghART Supermarket installation (2007), the shelves are packed with branded packaging that turns out to be empty.

In 2009, the artist set up a production company called MadeIn Company, which replaced the artist’s identity – until 2013, that is, when it was relaunched under the brand ‘Xu Zhen’.