Zhiqian Tang's penchant for collecting has become the cornerstone of his creative process. During his travels around the world, this artist gathers items he holds dear and transforms these antiques through a process of reassembly and reinterpretation. As a self-taught artist, Tang's artistic journey spans over 15 years, during which he has acquired more than 20 design patents and several utility model patents.
Zhiqian Tang's collection is stored in several warehouses, spanning a total area of 3,000 square meters. Tens of thousands of items are housed in these 'time tunnels', ranging from centuries-old tree roots to items such as televisions, radios, VCRs, machine tools, gears of various sizes, locks, springs, typewriters, heavy diving helmets, propellers, ancient books, and more. These intriguing, highly interactive, and continuously growing collectibles serve as the inspiration and creative wellspring for his works. When reutilizing these items, Tang injects new life into the old artifacts. This not only adds an element of amusement to his creations but also highlights the exploration of form and materiality
From the early stages of his artistic journey, the connection between East and West has been a crucial narrative in Zhiqian Tang's works. The travels profoundly influence his artistic expression. Tang has collected a series of items associated with his journeys—suitcases, vintage cars, and mechanical components. Through reassembling and repurposing, the works convey an intensity intertwined with collective memory, cultural signifiers, and nostalgia.