展览时期：2023年7月16日 – 8月15日
ACENTRICSPACE July Upcoming Exhibition
Zhujiajiao Art Archive Project
Zhou Yunxia Solo Exhibition
Overlooking Sky, Dedicating Labor
Curatorial Team: BUJISM
Opening: July 15th (Saturday) 16:00, 2023
Duration: July 16th to August 15th, 2023
About Zhujiajiao Art Archive Project
The Zhujiajiao Art Archive Project is a Zhujiajiao art and culture research project initiated by BUJISM and ACENTRICSPACE. It is dedicated to the research, discussion, organization, and presentation of the artist community that has been spontaneously formed in Zhujiajiao for nearly 30 years.
Embarrassed to say, we are certainly not the first to try to introduce Zhou Yunxia in an article, and we are not definite about fully introducing Zhou’s persistent life of art practicing state in creation. As juniors, and neighbors in the same community and industry, we are only trying to provide some new perspectives respectfully, making its image more vivid in the continuation of time, and these words themselves are nothing more than some rare aspects. But we still believe, and we could only have faith, that under the gradual solidification of today’s art market system, it is a tribute to the many unrecognized highlights in the life practice of many individuals respectively. It is a preservation of the dignity of artists and art itself. Here we thank Zhou for offering us an opportunity to explain him and his practice and for his trust and courage!
As the first group of artists to settle in Zhujiajiao, Zhou demonstrated in his practice what is a very classical characteristic today, that is, the sincerity of honest labor. It can be said to be an attitude that is sorely lacking among young artists of our time. This characteristic permeates Zhou’s long-term practice, whether it is a piece of toad skin that has been handled with complicated processes, or a mahjong installation assembled with perforations, and then to the Chinese ink and watercolor in the later stage of his practice. Under expressive and decisive expressionist visual, newspapers from the past are still delicately pasted with glue. Zhou’s practice always does his best to be responsible for each work. With the devotion of time and heart, the birth of every piece, even if it is extremely small, is worthy of the conscience of the artist. However, during the cultural interaction in the Zhujiajiao community, Zhou generously took out those works with complicated craftsmanship and exchanged them with everyone’s works. As for the framing and transport packaging of the works, Zhou has always solved them with his own hands. During the transportation of the exhibited works, he still sense the feeling of being responsible for every detail of life from the heavy wooden boxes.
Some of Zhou’s works are also very location-specific, and he has managed to search for the most potential treasures in the creative materials out of the suburbs of Shanghai. “Xun La Si” was one of the most famous dishes in the Qingpu, Zhujiajiao, and is very commonly served in the local deli. Zhou chose the toad skins that were skinned in large quantities after the residents made “Xun La Si” for his practice. This “location-specific” comes from the artist’s keen observation and reflection on “daily life”. He does not believe in common sense and logic. He uses his body as a ruler to measure the boundaries around him.
Toads are poisonous. The blisters on the outer skin and the small holes all over the body, and the irregular patterns like camouflage are often the reasons why toads are considered ugly, however, are the “ugliness” and “toxicity” which are symbolized by inertia. Zhou created a unique aesthetic paradigm in his practice. His intuition on the value conversion of materials is keen and hits the nail on the head. This kind of insight penetrates the barriers between natural materials and artificial culture, and he sews the mythical metaphor of primitive skin on “fashion”. Clothing is a person’s second skin, the skin of social role identification. Instead, he sewed toad skin into a dress that was inspired by European court attire. Here luxury and prestige, together with gutter, vulgarity, and baseness are merged into a new allegorical complex. This method of creation is not uncommon in Zhou’s practice. In many of his works, he uses the conversion and recombination of symbols and materials to bring out the mystery of the origin of religion and the impact of primitive life. The “prohibition of eating wild animals” was enacted a few years ago, and the toad became a protected specie. This series of Zhou’s works has been endowed with the practical significance of recording history and has become a unique and eternal symbol.
Zhou is dedicated to every “thing” he creates, and lives with great zest. Wild creatures in the field are his playmates and rivals, and they may also become a new source of practice. As he grows older, his spirit of exploration shows no sign of diminishing. He plays with Chinese ink, performances art, installations, woodcarvings, collages, etc. he always pushes the limit and tries to get out of his comfort zone. He once said: “I paint every day, but that has become the least important thing.”
No matter how fast the wave of the times is moving forward, there will always be people like Zhou who examine but love life, looked up at the sky, and bowed their heads to work, day after day.
关于艺术家 About the Artist
As educated youth who went to the rural area in 1974
Moved back to Nanjing, and work for Nanjing Food inc in 1979
Moved to Zhujiajiao and practicing since 2002
2009年“周云侠朴素生活绘画作品展”北京现代艺术基金会 比利时根特 修道院
2000年“肖像、人物、一对和一组” 比翼空间 上海
2008年“CLRCA Puerto Rico2008”波多黎各 Schuebbe画廊
2009年“CLRCA Puerto Rico2009”波多黎各 Schuebbe画廊
部分展览作品 Selected Works
舌尖上的呈现 Presentation on the tip of the tongue
麻将演绎-上海-3 Mahjong Deduction-Shanghai-3
宣纸水墨、丙烯 Chinese ink on rice paper, acrylic paint
布面贴蟾皮 Toad skin on canvas
《荆棘-荣耀之路》系列 Series: Thorns-Path to glory
布面贴报纸、丙烯、中国墨 Newspaper, acrylic paint, Chinese ink on canvas
关于策展团队 About the Curatorial Team
“BUJISM” is an artist collective as well as curating team formed by 7 Shanghai-based artists. The practice areas of its members include painting, graffiti, film, writing, curation, criticism, event curating, and art management. Thinking out of the traditional sense of artistic creation, the practice of BUJISM amalgamates each other’s expertise, in the way of resources integration, trying to combine artistic creation, practice, and lifestyle, to search for the possibility of artistic creativity and enlightenment in life in Shanghai and its surrounding area. Its “BUJI Radio” podcast has begun gaining influence on major platforms in art and culture in recent years.