In 1994, Zhang Xiaogang's series "Bloodline: Big Family" made its appearance in the "22nd Sao Paulo Biennial". It is a series which presents the spiritual bloodline and historical family in the eyes of the artist. It is the very series which shows for the first time in the history of fine arts the "Chinese face, Chinese family and Chinese history" as commented by the poet Ouyang Jianghe that brought Zhang Xiaogang and Chinese contemporary art as a whole an abundance of honors and applause. Since then Zhang won general acknowledgement for several of his exhibitions. And the "Bloodline: Big Family" of 2006 is the representative of its kind.
Uniform gestures and standardized expression are the features of the old time, as generally considered, however, Zhang Xiaogang, far less satisfied with this, has greater expectations, that is, to exhibit various blood lines, social or cultural
The "big family" concept of Zhang Xiaogang relects a common characteristic of the time and wins name and fame for his series works in the international artistic world. However, Zhang Xiaogang once mocked himself saying it was the same successful big family painter that went bankrupt with his own family. Thus the artist concludes: "bloodline is unbreakable while family is vulnerable." After divorcing, he moved from Sichuan to Beijing and it was his affection and compassion for his daughter that gave birth to the series "Amnesia and Memory" following "Big Family". Just as his second wife said, "I think, his daughter is just a part of him. He also said himself that his daughter was a rib from his body. I often say to him his daughter is himself. They are not two persons but one."
The sensitiveness and ability of profound observation grants the artist the gift to connect his personal life closely with the time and society, which raises him to the heights of art. Now, Zhang Xiaogang is a universally acknowledged successful artist, an artist whose success is far beyond failure. Wang Lin, art critic and a professor in the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts said: "I wish to see more achievements and bigger success with him and am expecting him to get a sound footing in the world history of fine arts. The history of our joint efforts will become part of the history of world art."
However, the sensational success seems still unable to eliminate the feeling of loneliness deeply rooted within him. He said: "I can never expect to make any sunny and happy paintings. My paintings are all cloudy and melancholic. Maybe it is because of my experience for the relationship between my family and I always display the negative side or dark back of life, never the positive face".