Dr Hong Xing Zhang 張弘星博士


Date 28 May 2014 Interviewed by David Hawkins
Language English Audio Edited by Ben Fielden 
Venue V&A Museum, London    

Zhang Hongxing was born in Jiangsu province, China. He studied fine art and history of art in Nanjing, and then worked as a lecturer at Nanjing University of the Arts before he left China for Britain. He arrived in the UK in 1993 first as a visiting scholar for a year, sponsored by China's Ministry of Education, to the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. In 1994 he began to pursue his Ph.D. research on the late Qing battle paintings under the supervision of Prof. Roderick Whitfield.

After obtaining a Ph.D. degree from SOAS, he became a lecturer in the School of World Art at the University of East Anglia, teaching Chinese art to art history students. In 2000 he moved to Edinburgh to take up the post of curator and lecturer of Chinese art, a new post jointly created by the National Museums of Scotland (NMS) and the University of Edinburgh, where he served for four years. During that period, he curated the Forbidden City: Treasures of an Emperor a loan exhibition from the Palace Museum Beijing to the NMS. This popular exhibition attracted the largest numbers of visitors in the museum's recent history.

In 2004 he left his position in Edinburgh to join the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and has since served as a senior curator of Chinese Collections in the institution. He has been responsible for several major temporary exhibitions, scholarly publications and conferences, including the acclaimed Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700-1900.

Zhang Hongxing got married to his wife Zhang Ruihua in 1985. They have one daughter Zhichun, born before they later moved to the UK.