For the first time in its 500 year history, Surgeons’ Hall, the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, will mount an exhibition of contemporary art alongside the cases of preserved hearts, the anatomical anomalies, the diseased organs. The focus will be on Zhang Yanzi, an award-winning Chinese artist and Professor at China’s Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, who spent some time in 2017 at the museum, studying the collection in depth. The results will be on display at the Museum until November.
Yanzi’s new work deals in healing, energy and human existence, which allies with an interest in things medical which has coloured much of her recent output. Much of it is interdisciplinary, and whilst she works in a number of media her basis is in ink, a traditional art form which she translates in an entirely contemporary fashion. Her “Secret Path” paintings, currently being installed, are inspired by a notebook of lectures in the museum’s collection, as is her Capillaries installation, which will extend downwards from the ceiling.