He is known for being a contemporary Chinese sculptor; however, he is also known in other art forms such as installations, photography and video. His pieces consist of conceptual ideas where he "embraces and subverts several other major traditions in modern art, both Chinese and Euro-American." Many of his works include the use of simplistic objects that serve a purpose of telling a complex idea, and many of his ideas pertain to Chinese culture.
Zhan began creating in 1995 a series of abstract forms coated in chrome which he calls floating stones or artificial rocks. They are representations of the scholar rocks in Chinese culture. The scholar rocks are ornamental rocks that hold a high value as they are believed to possess qi or vital energy, and are collected as objects of art and tools of meditation.
Zhan has exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide including Spain, Italy, China, Turkey, USA, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, Switzerland, France, Austria, Chile, Cuba, and Germany. He currently lives in Beijing, China.