Engaged in an almost primordial game of hoop trundling, the boy in ‘Trundle Hoop’ is not only an embodiment of the imagination and simplicity of childhood, but the simplicity of culture as a whole which is now lost amongst the convoluted pursuits of happiness in the modern world. Through this image, the artist touches upon the two most important aspects of his series.
First, the joys of childhood versus that of adult life and the societal constraints it brings to light. Society has complicated its own concepts of happiness, leading to an age of dissatisfied adults who are limited in their freedom of thought and behaviour. The second, is that of the loss of culture as a whole - with much of what defines people, now lost in an increasingly homogeneous atmosphere bereft of individuality. Thus, the works of Zhang Jian Long do not remain just images, but important commentaries close to the artist’s heart.
He believes that in the past, people were more open-minded and carefree.