Fou Gallery and the modern Asian restaurant Carma are pleased to present a group exhibition, showcasing two New York-based artists Zhu Zhe and Liu Zhangbolong from April 24 through June 28, 2015. Titled Vanitas and Traces, the exhibition will open on April 24 along with a wine reception within the newly opened Carma restaurant space.

In his Vanitas Series, the young photographer Zhu Zhe focuses on a certain type of mood created by the process of deterioration and decay within everyday objects. In Liu Zhangbolong’s Traces Series, on the other hand, the artist captures subtle hints tracing back to past performances or removed objects on a now empty stage. Fou Gallery and Carma have decided to collaborate in order to explore the alternative exhibition space. Both entities hope to enable the integration of unusual and unique works of art into different facets of everyday life, as well as to trigger innovation within the conventional gallery space structure.

Zhu Zhe, Aerial View, archival pigment print on fine art paper, 30 x 24 in., edition of 12 + 2 AP, 2014. © 2015 Zhe Zhu, courtesy Fou Gallery

Zhu Zhe, Aerial View, archival pigment print on fine art paper, 30 x 24 in., edition of 12 + 2 AP, 2014. © 2015 Zhe Zhu, courtesy Fou Gallery

The Vanitas Series, which Zhu has been developing over the last two years, was inspired by a type of symbolic still life painting that flourished in Flanders and the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries. These particular oil paintings, referred to as “Vanitas”, typically depicted decaying flowers, rotten fruits, skulls, hourglasses and other symbols to represent the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits, including the fleeting moments of both happiness and sorrow. Based on this concept, Zhe Zhu gathers objects that are in different stages of consumption or decay and arranges the photographic setting according to the composition of the old “Vanitas” paintings. Using either a large-format film camera or a medium format digital camera to record these images, the artist creates photographs that feel like actual Old Master paintings, which expresses a unique form of individuality in the face of our current age of consumerism.

Liu Zhangbolong, The Metropolitan Museum of Art-3, New York, archival pigment print on fine art paper, 10x12.5in., edition of 1+1 AP, 2013© 2015 Zhangbolong Liu, courtesy Fou Gallery

Liu Zhangbolong, The Metropolitan Museum of Art-3, New York, archival pigment print on fine art paper, 10×12.5in., edition of 1+1 AP, 2013© 2015 Zhangbolong Liu, courtesy Fou Gallery

In his Traces series, started in 2012, Liu Zhangbolong attempts to document objects that have already disappeared completely from view, or, rather, his subject matter is to capture the “existence of non-existent things.” Within Liu’s photographs, time is seen to be the manipulating force over the traces left behind by removed objects. Through empty slideshow, missing objects in a museum showcase, leftover pinholes on isolated wallpaper and wrinkled bed sheets that have not yet been flattened out, the so-called “non-existent objects” are able to declare their existence after all.

In this vast and ever changing universe, it seems as though fixed objects are, in fact, in a state of ceaseless transformation as well. The process of photographing their “traces” enables Liu Zhangbolong to engage in the complex relationship between internal perception and external change, as well as documenting and affirming their existence. Lastly, once completing a sale, the artwork’s “traces” will disappear once again.

*The press release is based on text by Ning Ding, translated by Cila Brosius.

About the artists

Zhu Zhe (b.1993, Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China) is majored in Photography at School of Visual Arts, New York (B.F.A). His work has been featured on Wallpaper* Magazine. His recent shows include Portfolio Show Case Volume 8 Group Exhibition at The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, U.S.A. (2015); Zhe Zhu: Vanitas at Backyard, Beijing (2014); Somewhere Else at Dekalb Gallery of Pratt Institute, New York (2014); Zhe Zhu: Kind of Blue at School of Visual Arts, New York (2013) and Earthlings at Neighborhood Church of Greenwich Village, New York (2012).

Liu Zhangbolong(b.1989, Beijing, China) graduated from Materials Science and Engineering Department at Tsinghua University, Beijing (B.E.), and is currently majored in Photography, Video and Related Media at School of Visual Arts, New York (M.F.A). He has won Ryan R. Gibbs Award for Photography (Baton Rouge, 2014) and Shiseido Prize (Three Shadows Photography Art Center, Beijing, 2014). His recent shows include The 2nd “CAFAM Future” Exhibition – the Reality Representation of Chinese Young Art at The Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing (2015); The 10th Lianzhou International Foto Festival at Lianzhou Foto Fruit Barn, Lianzhou (2014); Reminiscence of the Land at 798 Photo Gallery, Beijing (2014) and TOP20 China New Photographers at China Academy of Art Museum, Hangzhou (2013).

About Fou Gallery

Fou is an apartment gallery and creative lab based in New York. Fou is dedicated to promote creative talents and projects of our time. As suggested by its name, Fou is a denial of the mainstream commercial gallery model and an active contributor to a new organic art community. With the belief that enjoying art is an essential part of everyday life, Fou offers a vibrant, enjoyable and inspirational selection of original works in art and design.


Located in the West Village, CARMA is a restaurant offering an innovative menu of memorable Asian tapas with vibrant flavors and balanced nutrition. With a signature menu created by the Executive Chef of Taiwan’s renowned Din Tai Fung in collaboration with TAO, the cuisine of CARMA features artfully balanced and locally sourced ingredients. Beyond that, it is a rotating art gallery as well, displaying work ranging from the Hudson revivalists to Beijing’s 798 to create a unique dining experience that nourishes body, mind, and spirit.

About the exhibition

Duration: April 24–June 28, 2015

Press Preview: Friday, April 24, 2015, 5-6 pm

Opening Reception: Friday, April 24, 2015, 6-8 pm

Location: Carma, 38 Carmine St, Manhattan, NY 10014

Hours: Daily, 4pm-10pm Tel: 1.732.754.8250

Press Contact: Ning DING (; 1.347.326.1580)

Courtesy of the artists and Fou Gallery, for further information please visit

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