ARTIST | Yichen Zhou 周一辰

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(English version of the article is also available below)

“Yichen Zhou(周一辰),出生于内蒙古。毕业于纽约帕森斯设计学院摄影与相关媒体专业,获艺术硕士学位。现居纽约和北京。她的作品主要通过行为,影像和装置艺术探讨……”

如果这不是一个简短空洞的艺术家简介,那么这个introduction应该是什么样子的。关于我的生活?我喜欢什么,烦恼什么,执迷什么。我的忧愁可能是你的不痛不痒。你又怎么会在乎?就像我也不在乎你的。所以连接我们的只能是艺术,它是最私密的,也是最开放的。它可以是最细微敏感的,但却不是鸡毛蒜皮。

又错过一年草原的夏天。种子一样的,有生命的,随我一起生长的,是草原意识。所有人一直在无意识的寻找的,存在于各自体内的——所谓identity——我的来说,是草原吧。一个凝结着时间的广袤空间。

1. 草一绿一黄间流逝的对它来说是尘。

2. 它足够广袤,广袤到包含一切的流逝。

3. 它没有那些执念的不舍,它让它们流逝。它不留。

4. 它无善无恶。

5. 它的本身就是禅。

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那所谓的草原意识究竟是什么?是在“大”面前的自我意识。因为它包容一切,拥有一切,同时也摒弃一切。它像是一个庞大的无时间无空间的“实体”。它是生命本身,同时也是虚无本身。我是徒劳的。才知道我们所怀有的一切情感,是因为渺小。而随之产生的自大,还是因为渺小。

Futility. 我的作品大多关于徒劳,或者说是局限性。

所谓作品里的局限性,是很难有人能跳出我们生命存在的时间,也就是跳出我们活着的短短几十年,从更长的时间跨度里去看待自身,总是会不自觉的被拉回当下,这就是我们存在的局限。也好,既然很难跳出自身存在的时间段看生命,那我们就来认真仔细的看待这种局限吧。Futility,在这里并不是悲观的。

在我最新的作品里,我从长城截取了一段接近坍塌的城墙(5m x 6m)拍摄下来 ,输出成实物大小的照片,装裱成14个尺寸不一的画框,作为我的“砖块”带到草原上,搭建我自己的长城。

现实中,长城的主体怎样随朝代更换而失掉原本的功能和意义。现在,长城又是怎样被记录在照片里,被搬运和重建。重建后的长城不过是失去意义的碎片,与我们当下的生活无异。即使我们重访长城,争战早已过去,悍勇的游牧民族早已退出了历史的舞台,现实中的长城也不过是砖块砌起的大墙,而这墙也终会坍塌,变为图像被“拆毁”,“搬运”,“重建”,最终作为信息和像素活在人们中间。这是不是历史的必然趋势。在我自己的“重建”过程中,想到无数人在搭建的过程中失去生命,又有多少游牧民族被它阻挡,它之宏伟,巨大和坚固。我的墙正相反,它证明的不是边界和阻挡,而是边界的消失和脆弱,它可以去到任何地方,甚至是这片属于游牧民族的草原。

图像将我们生活中的真实逐一取代和重建,无人察觉,我们已经习惯透过影像看世界,但看到的都是和草原上的“大墙”一样的东西,不过是失去功能的碎片。

 

周一辰

2015年9月


“Yichen Zhou is a visual artist and photographer who was born in Inner Mongolia and raised in Beijing, China. She moved to New York City in 2010. Her performance-based work explores her identity as part of a new generation Chinese artists and points to the challenges of living in a world where she finds multiple cultures and values in conflict……”

If it is not a brief and vague artist statement, what should an introduction look like? Shall I talk about my personal life? What do I like? What worries me? What is my obsession? My sadness may not make sense to you. I highly doubt if you really care, just like I don't care about your personal life as well. So the only connection between you and I should be art. It is the most personal and intimate thing, at the same time, it is the most open and comprehensive. It is sensitive, but not trifle.

By missing another summer in the grassland, I realize something is growing inside me, like a seed. Something that everyone is longing for with or without consciousness——so called identity——for me, it is all about the grassland, which is a massive space with the freezing time.

 

1.The color repeats from green to yellow as time goes by. It is nothing but dust for the grassland.

2.It is vast enough.

3.It doesn't have any obsession with the lost. Let everything flow without any trace of time.

4.There is no good and no evil.

5.It is Zen.

I’d like to call it the grassland consciousness. It is a self-awareness in front of the vast. It is a living organism as well as nothingness. Our activities and attempts are futile compare to its vast. It makes you to realize all the emotions and obsessions we human beings have are because of the insignificance of us. So is the arrogant.

Futility. My works are about futility.

Futility, it is hard for us to see the world in a longer duration of time or a wider range of space, longer and wider than our existence. How can we see further and clearer? No matter how hard we try, we always end up in the present. Since we cannot jump out of the time of our existence or life period, then let’s take a serious look at the limitation. The futility is not a pessimistic word right here.

In my latest work, I’m interested in how the Great Wall lost in its function and the original meaning with the changing of time. The war has gone, and nomads have stepped down the stage of history. The Great Wall now is just fragments of a brick wall, which lost the original meanings. This brick wall will collapse one day, and will only be remembered as the images existing in people’s memory. The images of the Great Wall will be moved, reconstructed, and existed as pixels. Is it the inevitable trend of history?

I went to an old section of the Great Wall, which closely about to collapse. I photographed a part of the wall (5M x 6M), printed the wall in its actual size, and framed them into 14 different size frames. These frames were brought to the grassland, they were the representations of the bricks to build my own wall.

In the process of my own reconstruction, I realize millions of people lost their lives building the Great Wall. It is so giant and strong that it defended and overcame the nomadic tribes. My wall, on the contrary, it proves not boundary, but the disappearance of border. It is made from fragile fragments. It can go to anywhere including the grassland where belonged to the nomads.

The images started to replacing and rebuilding the original subject of the real life without our awareness. We have been used to see the world through images, but everything we saw is the fragment losing functions——like the wall on the grassland.

Sept. 2015

Yichen Zhou

Website: www.yichenzhou.com