Zhang Huan was born in An Yang, He Nan Province in 1965. He graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing in 1993. Zhang Huan began his work as part of a small artistic community, known as the Beijing East Village. Zhang Huan is most known for his performances in which his mind and body are faced with extreme conditions. It initiated with 12 Square Meters (1994) when he sat still for an hour, his naked body covered in honey and fish oil in a room full of flies. His topics frequently allude to the place of censorship in contemporary Chinese culture and the strength of collective action to fight oppressive regimes. He is increasingly well known for his non-performance works too. He has exhibited at shows including the 2002 Whitney Biennial and Rituals at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.