Ho Chi Minh


Incense ash, charcoal and resin on canvas

200 x 150 cm (78 3/4 x 59 1/16 in.)

This black and white portrait of Ho Chi Minh, the great architect of independence for North Vietnam was painted using a unique technique based on incense ash, charcoal and resin developed by Zhang Huan in 2007.

There is a contrast between the representation of a Communist figure and the pictorial technique used by the artist, which references a spiritual register as the ashes used actually come from Buddhist temples. This full-face portrait is part of a series of portraits and self-portraits produced using this technique, with frontal and falsely objective framing, begun by the artist in 2007.

The work was first shown by the Pinault Collection at the "Le Monde vous appartient" (“The World Belongs to You”) exhibition (2011-2012) at the Palazzo Grassi.