In A Splendid Future For The Past, Zhang’s installation offers a pathway for those recently departed to enter the afterlife –in Buddhist belief, a stalled journey if the death has been due to unnatural circumstances. A duality of fractured existence prevails in much of Zhang’s work, often reflecting conflicted states of being between the natural and unnatural, the past and future, and the here and hereafter. An intertwined and fragile balance between life and death is expressed in the installation.

On display is a large monument-like text panel with excerpts compiled from local news media reports of deaths that occurred over the last year due to tragedies such as accidents and homicides taking place in New York City’s Chinatown neighborhoods. These News capture the contemporary sense of alienation, absurdity and failed dreams, as well as the unavoidable dark side of human nature and the uncertainty of one's destiny and nature force.

Two live baby white rabbits are situated in a carefully prepared living environment where they may freely play, roam, and rest within view. The growing rabbits represent peace, beauty and hope, the symbol of life and fertility. They are also featured in honor of the upcoming 2011 -Chinese Rabbit Year.

A red carpet covers the entire floor area, where visitors are invited to walk on the carpet individually; this action “completes” the journey of those who have had a difficult passage in life to what Zhang conceives of as a splendid afterlife.

Chinatown is chosen for this project as an archetypal model of myth -- the symbol of shattered idealism -- the metaphor of real life composed by Good and Evil, it serves as the symbol for the true nature of every city.

(To further complete this process of transition and renewal, and upon the close of the exhibition, the rabbits were offered by Zhang for adoption with assistance from Rabbit Rescue & Rehab, the New York City Chapter of the House Rabbit Society.)

FOREVER & TODAY, INC. is a non-profit that is a sponsored organization of the New York Foundation for the Arts, a 501(c)(3). Currently inhabiting a 100 square foot storefront on the cusp between New York’s Lower East Side and Chinatown.