Zhan Yan was born in Huangshi City, Hubei Province in 1984, and later moved to Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province. From 2005 to 2013, he received undergraduate and postgraduate education in sculpture at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, and successively obtained bachelor and master degrees. He has been teaching in the Sculpture Department of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts since 2015, and currently lives and works in Guangzhou. Zhan Yan is mainly engaged in the creation of comprehensive media sculptures. His artistic exploration covers many aspects such as material language, cultural symbols, and machine structure. In 2017, the first solo exhibition "Handmade Hyper Reality" was held in Shanghai. His work has won important awards many times and has been collected by many art galleries, art institutions and collectors at home and abroad.
Zhan Yan is a studio artist, because his works usually need deep processing to complete. Comparatively speaking, he prefers the creative way that needs to be deliberated and experimented rather than the direct emotional expression. In addition, he is more interested in some highly stylized, conceptualized and regularized elements. He believes that these elements are highly refined and emphasize the internal law of human thinking, which is more attractive to him than those artistic forms that emphasize intuitiveness and vividness. Zhan Yan has been insisting on the way of "making his works evolve" to continue his creation. Every time he finished a work, he would think whether it was possible to extend it. Adding new elements to the previous work, or expressing them in another way, can make the work evolve to a certain extent, so as to form a new work. Over time, there will be a kind of "genealogical" relationship between works. This is what the Institute expects to achieve.