Xu Zhen was born in Shanghai, China in 1977 and worked as an independent artist for many years before establishing MadeIn Company in 2009. He received his BA degree from Shanghai School of Arts and Crafts in 1996. Both Xu and MadeIn Company are based in Shanghai, China. A selection of exhibitions include: China China Individuality – Collective, Pinchuk Art Center, Kiev (2013); The 12th Biennale of Lyon (2013); The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, (2012); Art Of Change: New Directions from China, Hayward Gallery, London (2012); The Unseen – The 4th Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Canton (2012); Surplus Authors, Witte de With, Rotterdam (2012); Inside the White Cube, London (2012); Ruhrtriennale, Museum Folkwang, Gelsenkirchen (2012); 11 Rooms, Manchester International Festival, Manchester City Galleries (2011); Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2009); The Thirteen: Chinese Video Now, Museum of Modern Art, NYC (2006); The Real Thing: Contemporary Art From China, Tate Liverpool (2007); Follow Me! Chinese Contemporary Art at the Threshold of the New Millennium, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2005) and the 49th Venice Biennale, Venice (2001). Aside from being an artist, Xu Zhen is also a curator. He has co-curated several major exhibitions in Shanghai and in 2006 was one of the initiators of the online contemporary art forum Art-Ba-Ba (www.art-ba-ba.com). Xu won the Best Artist prize at the China Contemporary Art Award in 2004.
Xu Zhen (Produced by MadeIn Company) is a ‘brand’ of the wider artist collective MadeIn Company and composed of a number of contemporary artists and creative practitioners that work together as an ‘art creation corporate.’ In Chinese, MadeIn Company – meiding gongsi translates to ‘a company without a head’ and ‘a company drowned by a head’; alluding to its collective format and non-hierarchical structure. The name MadeIn Company also parodies the phrase ‘Made in China’ which the company often explores through its different ways of ‘producing creativity'. MadeIn Company makes works in a variety of media including installation, painting and sculpture that explore universal concepts, often by combining transcultural objects and histories. These works take into consideration the cultural, political and social ideologies that structure our lives. MadeIn Company considers the research phase essential in the evolution of their practice; and aim to nurture as many interpretations and multiple possible realities in this phase of development.