March 20, 2019 - Guangdong Times Museum - Zhou Tao: The Ridge in A Bronze Mirror
March 20, 2019

Guangdong Times Museum

[1,3,4] Zhou Tao, South of the Mountains & North of the Mountains (video still), 2019. Single channel video with sound. Produced by Vitamin Creative Space, co-commissioned by Time Museum and Council, supported by the Samdani Art Foundation and Kadist. [2] Zhou Tao, In Broad Daylight No.3 (photo), 2018. Courtesy the artist and Vitamin Creative Space.

Zhou Tao
The Ridge in A Bronze Mirror
March 23–May 26, 2019

Vernissage: March 23, 3–6pm, guided tour at 3:30pm with artist Zhou Tao and curator Nikita Yingqian Cai

Guangdong Times Museum
Times Rose Garden III
Huang Bian Bei Road, Bai Yun Avenue North
510095 Guangzhou
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +86 20 2627 2363
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Times Museum is hosting the first solo survey of Zhou Tao with a comprehensive selection of his works produced in the past decade. It is also the public premiere of two new films South of the Mountains and North of the Mountains co-commissioned by Times Museum and Council.

The Ridge in A Bronze Mirror is an allegory of contemporary archeology that takes the archaic medium of bronze mirror to project a speculative rhetoric, a topography of conflict and a whirlpool of untimely images. Designated as means of self-referentiality, The Ridge in A Bronze Mirror dwells on the unconsummated, in the hope of articulating the unspeakable of a certain locale.

Zhou Tao spent nearly two years in an eco-industrial park at the foot of the Kunlun Mountains, capturing the modernist obsession and utopian desire to turn deserts into oases with an 8K camera. The result is a rich repertoire of images that swiftly alternate between natural landscapes and realistic portraits of humans and other species in a state of exception, suspended from normative ecological and political conditions. Zhou Tao often refers to the aesthetics of "liu bai" (leaving blank) in Yuan Dynasty literati painting, while keeping in mind that the Chinese literati’s spiritual conception of escapism has lost its currency. He crystalizes the performative moments that have the potential to connect the human eye with the body, and to revise a world heavily mediated by technology.

In After Reality (2013), it is difficult to conclude whether Zhou Tao's "grazing" and "tea-leaf picking" are an appropriation of ritual or assimilation into the environment. In Blue and Red (2014), the human assemblage that convenes at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok and at the Huacheng Square in Guangzhou are alternately sutured into the short film’s classical structure and bathe in an ambient light; In The Worldly Cave (2017), the social spaces have become all the more complex and the camera meticulously combines the tactility of light and the machine's ISO sensitivity to capture shades of brightness and darkness beyond the capacity of the human eye and evokes a kind of sci-fi synesthesia. In his latest works, South of the Mountains and North of the Mountains (2019), Zhou Tao radically attempts to investigate the cosmotechnics of image-making: as technology extends into a prosthetic corporeality, like what Bernard Stiegler terms a "tertiary retention," can the act of filming preserve its sense of intuition? When AI begins to interpret the image-flows edited by the artist, through what interface can the latter restore a sense of integrity between technology and perception?

Zhou Tao was born in 1976, and currently works and lives in Guangzhou. Fán Dòng (The Worldly Cave) has been presented in IFFR 2018, Tate Modern and Centre Pompidou. His works were selected for group exhibitions including Tales of Our Time, Solomon R. Guggenheim (2016), South by Southeast. A Further Surface, Guangdong Times Museum (2016), New Directors/New Films, MoMA & the Film Society of Lincoln Center (2015), On/ Off, Showcases China's young artists, UCCA (2013), and the 57th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, Sharjah Biennial 13: Tamawuj, the 5th Auckland Triennia and the 7th Shanghai Biennale. He has been awarded the 1st Prize of the Jury of the Ministry by the 61st Oberhausen International Short Film Festival (2015), the 1st Han Nefens Foundation BACC Award for Contemporary Art in Asia (2013), and the Asian Cultural Council fellowship (2009) among others.

Guangdong Times Museum
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The Ridge in A Bronze Mirror
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