From July 23, 2021 to September 12, 2021, the Long Museum (West Bund) is pleased to present “Hoho Zhou: Carry Me with Forms”. Curated by art critic Wang Xiaosong, the exhibition brings together 19 groups of Zhou’s new works from the past five years. Through her works epitomizing the “non-fiction”, the exhibition demonstrates her transformation and reconstruction of the prevalent view of “nature”.
The title of the exhibition, “Carry Me with Forms”, is borrowed from the book Zhuang Zi: The Grand Master. “There is the great Mass (of nature); I find the support of my body on it; my life is spent in toil on it; my old age seeks ease on it; at death I find rest in it; — what makes my life a good makes my death also a good” said Zhuang Zi. Most people do not understand the theories of growth, destruction and competition proposed by Zhuang Zi and they often criticize them for being too transcendental. However, Zhuang Zi’s view towards nature deeply influences Hoho Zhou and she has always been fascinated by these various forms of nature.
This exhibition will present the past five years of Zhou’s oeuvre; primarily in installations, sculptures, photography, etc. The exhibition embodies the idea of consciousness and biological forms which Zhou explored throughout her career. Zhou’s inspiration often emerges from her personal experience and collection. Her works, while appearing to be bizarre and abstract, are in fact depicting the diversity of life. They are, in Zhou’s words, the natural extension of the often-overlooked everyday objects. In addition, Zhou deliberately avoids showing many of her early creations with iconic symbols (such as the “Dispelling Haze” and “The Fanatic” series) — they are too futuristic and may be misleading. Instead of searching for the “alien” and the “alternative”, the global epidemic causes Zhou to reflect on the “visible” and the “present”.
From an early age, Hoho Zhou has been wandering in different cultural environments of the East and the West. She has received training in music, fashion design, and styling classes at the Academy of Fine Arts. The mixed culture has long been engraved in her mind. Zhou often works on several subjects at the same time, with clear professional boundaries between each other. Her works which maintain a clear distance from the popular culture are very experimental. If you are accustomed to viewing one’s work through referring to an established concept, you may find Zhou’s works unfamiliar or even disturbing. Why not put aside these restrictions? Let us feel the unique techniques, explore the subtle interaction between her works and the space, and experience the abnormal “habitat” created by the artist Hoho Zhou.
The title of Haruki Murakami’s book Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World best describes this exhibition.
About the Artist
Hoho Zhou (born in Chengdu, Sichuan) graduated from the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute and Bunka Fashion College (Tokyo).
At a young age, Zhou and her mother left China and went to Germany, where she received early musical education. After returning to China, she studied at the high school affiliated to Sichuan’s Conservatory of Music. Her personal life and learning experiences cultivated her to be artistically and professionally sensitive towards mixed media and visual arts communication, as well as towards life, natural origin, and the diligent exploration of form. The intersection of fashion design, music and visual arts creation is the normal state of Zhou’s working progress. This atypical working style has an element of strength in today’s era, whether that be in cross-disciplinary work, or work related to the division of labor.
Zhou’s creations involve various types of media, such as images, installations, paintings, and sounds. In recent years, some of the group exhibitions she has participated in include: “Return- The First China Hechuan Diaoyu Fortress International New Media Art Festival” (Chengdu, 2017), “The 4th Documentary Exhibition of Fine Arts/ Stress field” (Hubei Museum of Art, Wuhan, 2017), “Do You Copy” (MoCA, Shanghai, 2019), “The Artist’s 2020 Reality and Ideals” (Chengdu Blue Top Art Gallery, Chengdu, 2020), “Temporary Symptoms” (The Galaxy Museum of Contemporary Art, Chongqing, 2020), and “Name” (Yuelai Art Museum, Chongqing, 2021). Individual exhibitions include: MIRRORIM (Pangea Solarium, Tokyo, 2010), “Fanatics 2012” (Gallery Yang, Beijing, 2011), “Dispel Doom” (MoCA Contemporary Art Museum, Chongqing, 2017), “Unadulterated” (United Art Museum, Wuhan, 2018), “Empty Chamber Brightness Born” (MoCA Pavilion, Shanghai, 2019), and “Pure Return” (A4 ARIE Art Center, Chengdu, 2021).
About the Curator
Wang Xiaosong, Art Critic, Curator. Wang Xiaosong graduated from the Chinese National Academy of Arts in 2015 with a Doctorate degree. He worked at He Xiangning Art Museum from 2006 to 2012 and engaged in post-doctoral research at Tsinghua University from 2015 to 2017.
Wang has curated and participated in several important exhibitions and art projects, such as “The Art and Life of He Xiangning: Mapping, Illustrating, and Documenting the Landscape of History – The 10 Year Anniversary of the He Xiangning Art Museum”, the 1st to 4th “Cross-strait Four-regions Artistic Exchange Project”, Taipei Kuandu Arts Festival “Asia Cruise - Evidence” station (2013), the 6th “Garden Dialogue: Contemporary Art Invitational Exhibition”, the 1st to 3rd Global Overseas Chinese Artists Exhibition, the 4th Documentary Exhibition of Fine Arts, the 3rd Triennial of Fiber Art, as well as the 1st and 2nd Wuzhen International Contemporary Art Invitational Exhibitions. Wang has also planned and hosted lectures 101-200 of “The Voice of Humanism- Academic lecture of He Xiangning Art Museum”. Since 2011, he has written art review for Chinese Contemporary Art News Magazine and Hi Art. Furthermore, he has reviewed works by Jin Daiqiang, Xu Bing, Yue Minjun, Zhou Chunya, Liu Jianhua, Liu Xuguang, etc. His literary criticisms have been collected into a volume titled Under the Sight.