Zhang Dali


*1963 in Harbin, China
Lives in
Beijing, China

Arguably China’s most well-known graffiti artist, Zhang Dali stopped tagging buildings in 2006. However, his deep-rooted connection to urban street life remains very much at the core of his practice. Zhang Dali’s practice is research-based, recording daily encounters with the urban space of his living and working neighbourhoods on the outskirts of Beijing. His aim – whether graffiti or cyanotype or marble statuary – is consistent: immediate contact, direct impressions of everyday life at street level. The bamboo depicted in his cyanotypes is a kind of “survivor”, persisting in a city that has faced decades of rapid change and development.

After completing his studies at the Academy of Art and Design in Beijing, Zhang Dali travelled to Italy where he discovered the art of graffiti. Today he is considered as one of the pioneers of Chinese graffiti, known for his silent protest against the demolition of the ‘Old Beijing’.