Compelled by a personal sentiment towards a world that is becoming increasingly fragmented, segmented and dissonant, particularly as a result of constantly renewing technologies, Ji Zhou adopts the medium of photography to convey his mediations between reality and illusion, nature and artificiality, as well as the mutual impacts from these dichotomies. The exhibition showcases the artist’s most recent series of photographs and light box installations.
Through his observations, the artist noted that the impetus of capturing a scene or an object with a camera often comes from the appeal of a specific detail within a larger context. However, the photograph taken would encompass myriads of details to constitute the entire image. The variations in the perception of these details hence alter the understanding of the whole. To translate these notions into his practice, Ji Zhou addressed two of the most fundamental variables, temporality and spatiality, and both are represented through the three series of works on view in this exhibition.
For Park (2019) and Greenhouse (2017-2019), Ji Zhou takes pictures of a place, ranging from public parks to greenhouses, at different times and alternative angles. Then, he disassembles these images into fragments and recombines them into a collage to show the integration of time and space. Ji Zhou intentionally chooses locations such as greenhouse and public parks for their ambiguity in artificiality and nature. His interpretation of these composite sites through the approach of collage further enhances the fragmentations of reality. Although Fiction (2019), adopts a similar approach, the artist demands the viewer to engage optical tactic in perceiving the relationship between the image in the light box that the image would only be seen at a specific angle, to its backdrop.
Previously, his photo series Maps (2013-2017) has already given us clues for shifting towards exploring the dichotomous relationships between the real and the fictional, nature and artificiality. By constructing these hollow sculptural forms of natural landscapes, and covering them with maps (a translated perception of nature), and then captures them on photographs, Ji Zhou asks the viewer to re-examine our perception of these seemingly opposing notions through these layers of mediation. Furthermore, his earlier practice includes Dust series that explores the perceived image of hand-assembled objects, rendered in monotonous grey as a mean to focus on the shape and form of these sculptures; Civilized Landscape, where he explores illusory landscapes created by mankind: using maps and books, he sculpts mountains and skyscrapers in carefully placed installations before photographing the compositions. Through these illustrations of the world, Ji Zhou constructs an understanding of the world around us.
Born in 1970 in Beijing and currently lives and works in Beijing, China. Ji Zhou graduated from the printmaking department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing in 1994, and later received an MFA from the Panthéon-Sorbonne University, Paris in 2005. His work has been exhibited around the world, including solo exhibitions Quand La Sculpture Devient Créature, Musee du Papier, Angouleme, France (2017); Form, Space Kaan, Seoul, South Korea (2017); Civilized Landscape, Klein Sun Gallery, New York, NY (2015), Objectified Spectacle, Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2013); Ashes of Time, Tang Contemporary Art Center, Beijing, China (2011) and In Situ, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2008). His recent group exhibitions include, Troubled Intentions Ahead: Confusing Public and Private, The 3rd Beijing Photo Biennial, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China;Simultaneous Eidos: Guangzhou Image Triennial, Guangzhou Art Museum, Guangzhou (2017); Imaginary Frontiers, Boghossian Foundation at Villa Empain, Brussels, Belgium (2017); Children of Hangzhou: Connecting with China, Young At Art Museum, Davie, FL (2016); Photography and Film Constructs, Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL (2016); WALK! Passages: Walking in Contemporary Art, Perlman Teaching Museum, Carleton College, Northfield, MN (2016); Another Landscape, Yang Art Museum, Beijing, China (2016); Real/Unreal, The First edition of Changjiang International Photography & Video Biennale, Chongqing Changjiang Museum of Contemporary Art, China (2015); The Persistence of Images, Redtory Art and Culture Organization, Guangzhou, China (2015); The 2nd Three Shadows Experimental Image Open Exhibition, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Beijing, China (2015); Retrospection & Deviation, Times Art Museum Beijing, Beijing, China (2011); Rendez-vous 09, Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne, France (2009); and55 Days in Valencia, Chinese Art Meeting, Institut Valencia d’Art Modern, Valencia, Spain (2008).
About the exhibition
Dates: 03 Aug. – 01 Sep., 2019
Venue: Boers-Li Gallery
Address: D-06, 798 Art Zone, No.2 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
Courtesy of the artist and Boers-Li Gallery, for further information please visit www.boersligallery.com.