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The body of “The Face of Facebook” is made up of more than sixty “unit works,” each different in size and form (painting, photography, video, and installation all are accounted for). Zhu Jia asked artists and public figures for their reactions to a famous profile photo of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg which ran alongside an article in The New Yorker last year, forming the basis for each “unit.” However, none of the works were signed by their contributors. Instead, Zhu Jia compiled their names in alphabetical order, and affixed the list, which appears below, to a separate wall.

There are two layers of meaning to this project: one is about borrowing the image of Mark Zuckerberg, the public figure, as a way of saying something; the other is about the images that were created through invitations extended to other artists and to my friends.

I cannot explain any further without bringing back into the picture things that I intentionally decided to leave out. I figure that after everyone has the chance to see the piece they will judge it from their own point of view. As a project, it touches questions at a few different levels, and on the contrast between individual expectations and personal experiences. These different levels make for the potency of the work, just as they bring into the work the potency of a social question.

That question is not a question of painting per se, but of what is painted and who does the painting. And indeed, the participants in this project, through their very participation, are touching on a two-fold question of political stance and economic status; together, these make for the work’s political relevance. This is precisely the political situation we so often talk about these days, in which the economic interest taken as the most reliable foundation of society is actually solidified only in the union of that interest with politics, spoken or otherwise.

Zhu Jia
July 4, 2011


Bai Yinan, Bi Jianfeng, Cao Yuxi, Chen Shaoxiong, Chen Tong, Dongfang Yue, Duan Yanling, Gao Feng, Liu Qing, Liu Xiaodong, Liu Wei, Liu Ye, Lin Yilin, Li Zhaojun, Lu Yi, Ni Haifeng, Rong Kang, Shi Miaomiao, Shi Yong, Sun Xun, Wang Di, Wang Guangyi, Wang Ruoxi, Wang Youshen, Xie Dongming, Xu Jia, Yang Fudong, Yang Fengyu, Yang Shaobin, Yang Yongsheng, Yan Peiming, Ye Le, Yin Xiaozhou, Yin Qi, Zeng Hao, Zhan Ying, Zhan Wang, Zhang Fan, Zhang Peili, Zhao Gang, Zheng Lin, Zhou Qingan, Zhu Shuangqing, Zhu Ziqian, and others.