"A Joyful Time" by internationally acclaimed Chinese artist Zhang Xiao Tao. These new works employs "Pop Art" repetitions of couplings from the Chinese Pillow book theatrically juxtaposed in layers to painted images of man and beasts-frogs, reptiles, fish-then overlaid with blobs of color suggesting bodily fluids or the primordial ooze. His point in this weird combination is to call out to the similarities of life for man and beast, downplaying the vast differences we see most often.

This very energetic artist operates from a philosophical position. He speaks about people losing their faith and spirit through alienation created by social reforms. He believes instead that human beings should be called primarily to righteousness, bravery and love; and secondarily to conscience.

His second series, "The Enlarged Prop" might shock the timid, employing, as it does, Huge condoms with anguished faces peering out from within like faces pressed against the window of a bus during the pouring rain. The faces are wide-eyed and fearful, appearing trapped. Globs of color suggest semen floating within. In China the viewer will have a much different read of the meaning than for the average person in the San Francisco bay area. For Chinese people who live with a governmentally imposed one-child policy, the meaning related to the frustrations and fears associated with the risk of an unwanted, or unallowed, pregnancy. For residents of the Bay Area, the scene immediately snaps to the dangers of unsafe sex in the light of the AIDS epidemic, and secondarily, to the risk of promiscuity in and area alive with singles. There is no doubt the series will stimulate a great deal of dialogue on both sides of the Pacific Rim.

Zhang Xiao Tao has exhibited in Germany, Austria, France, and England, but this is his first exhibition in the US. In October, he will participate in a large international exhibition in Germany as well as a solo exhibition there. His show here is brought to you through the collaboration of Mary Ann Petro of Heavenly Stone Art Consultancy with Beth Gates & Geoff Dorn, owners of Pacific Bridge Gallery.