Zhang Hai'er 张海儿 (born in Guangzhou in 1957) belongs to the avant-garde generation of photographers emerging in the 1980s. He entered Guangzhou Academy in 1985 of Fine Art to pursue a masters’ degree in painting. In spite of the disparagement he received, Zhang Hai'er began to evolve a highly personal exploration of photography. In his career, he has worked on assignment for Agence Vu in Paris, as photographer for News Weekly in Guangzhou 1995-2016, and was one of the first groups of photographers from China to be presented at les Rencontres d'Arles festival in 1988.
He has developed a singular “vision of the world through a lens”, in which darkness is a conscious visual code: the defining characteristic of Zhang Haier’s work. Through 35 years, Zhang Haier has continued his exploration of the subject of women and other forms of feminine identity. These works share a common assertion of self, with a force of emotion that alternates between joy, pain, delight and sorrow. Zhang Haier’s work speaks of real people in their natural states.