In his series “Anti-Vice Campaign”, Zhang Haiying deals with the Chinese government’s efforts to put an end to the red light environment. He is not concerned with evaluating this project, but above all with the question of representation and power.
With his painting, he emphasizes that the paintings that serve as a template for him are already shaped by the aesthetics of the mass media. The characteristic streaks of the night shots of video cameras get an almost abstract life of their own in his imagery, which gives the shamefully hiding their face a real beauty. With cool shades of grey, Zhang Haiying gives the images the appearance of everyday life and neutrality, but creates a break with coloured accents. Here he subtly brings into play a narrative level that seems to tell people and their story, although one can only guess at the personal fates. Without indicting, the artist makes it clear that the prostitutes are pilloried on behalf of all human beings. It exposes the double standards of a commodity society that condemns those who see no way out but to turn themselves into commodities.