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. Her performance explores what lies behind the surface of life and locate the line between reality and illusion; the actions are illogical and ineffective. The questions behind these actions explore futile activities in society and failed attempts at life. Zhou received her MFA in Photography and Related Media at Parsons School of Design in 2013 and had numerous exhibitions in Russia, United States and China. She lives and works in New York and Beijing.
articles by yichen zhou
"I think about material as a collaborator - it’s a carefully cultivated relationship. I add different materials to my roster slowly and thoughtfully, but once something makes it onto the list it never leaves."
"Come, let us go down and confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech."
We sometimes get overly fascinated with cities. The reality may disappoint you or even hurt you. Yet, I am willing to stay fascinated as if it's some kind of a religious belief.
When I was a child, I used to be crazy about collecting flower seeds. I wonder why the flower seeds were so attractive to a 6-year-old girl. Maybe, as human being, it's our instinct to love and appreciate the creation of nature. That kind of love is pure, without any desire, and expect nothing in return. When I saw the works of Wolfgang Laib, a serene presence and a reductive beauty, my childhood memories popped up surely and clearly. As we get older, with too many attractions from the society, the pure love and appreciation of ordinary life is fading away. Now we are always looking for a reason to love. If we lose the ability to find the ordinary beauty in nature and life, then what kind of art are we celebrating today?
科技将时间压缩，我们已经不再需要经历一封信从寄出到收到那漫长的等待了， 人和人之间隔着的那段时间已经消失，等待也随之消失。“实时”的通信意味着过去和未来都不复存在 ，剩下的只有现在，怎么长情。所以我们不但善忘，而且善变。
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.
它就在那儿，什么都没有发生。或者说，一切都在这静谧的一刻发生着。Photography is easy, Photography is difficult——Paul Graham