Zhang Enli's work is characterized by the daily contemplation of ordinary things and people situated on the margins of the unstoppable modernization of Shanghai. By depicting unusual viewpoints, elements or seemingly insignificant details, the artist offers the viewer a previously unseen vision of reality which reveals how the very essence of the contemporary world is found amongst the most hidden folds of everyday life. In Hair (1-4), the artist portrays a series of napes with quick brushstrokes of extremely diluted oil paint that recall the ink used in the Chinese artistic tradition. Placed one beside the other, the various hair styles disclose personalities and attitudes of the subjects represented, highlighting how the choice of haircut testifies the necessity and desire to assert individuality. With their unique perspective, the portraits of Zhang Enli capture the latent tensions present in contemporary Chinese society.
from "Infinite Painting - Contemporary Painting and Global Realism", 2006