ARTIST | Yichen Zhou 周一辰
(English version of the article is also available below)
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。
“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.