Zhou Wendou Presents His First Hong Kong Exhibition with de Sarthe Gallery
One of the main functions of art is to raise questions about the ‘heated’ issues of our contemporary society. How do we see the future?; Do we see the future?; What defines our society today? Often, all these questions place a heavy burden on art, but most artists today, draw inspiration from the troubled world that we all share. Zhou Wendou is one such artist, whose practice is focused on raising questions about the nature of our contemporary society. Focusing on creating installation pieces with mix-media, Wendou’s installations, try to give new and witty twists to common objects, or create bizarre new objects that resemble familiar ones with the aim to comment upon the world today. This need to question and reflect the world is evident also in Zhou Wendou’s new exhibition at de Sarthe Gallery in Hong Kong. Following the thread of his practice, his new installation, ADHD, lacks a human figure and attempts to raise questions and reflections about our every-day life.
His earlier pop-inspired installation, with trimmed basketball hoops, seemed to invite the viewer to pick up the basketball and attempt to put the ball in the hoop. Following this desire would actually lead the viewer to fall into a trap of destruction. Netting the ball would mean the breaking of the neon tube and the destruction of the hoop. It is in these small twists that the magic and philosophical thought of Zhou Wendou resides. Possible destruction of the basketball hoop, Wendou sees as a symbol for the self-destruction. Believing that everything is connected and that for each action lays another reaction or a symbolic opposite, Wendou challenges his audience with his mixed-media work and shows the traps of the contemporary settings.
In his previous work, Diamond Dreams, Wendou used real stones and created an intricate installation piece that resembled nets, or possible borderlines. Commenting again on the state of the world around us, the installation pieces are left open for the viewer to project their own ideas. This openness is evident in his latest work, ADHD (After the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). A strong single piece, Wendou’s latest installation, is a chrome sphere that resides in a fountain of ink, as windshield wipers move repetitively trying to remove the continuous flow of the ink over the sphere. Could this sphere be the Sisyphus’s stone? With the repetition of Sisyphean task, Wendou attempts to comment on the repetitive, often frantic actions of the man that leads to the now common diagnosis of ADHD disorder. Repetitiveness and lack of attention, a mechanical movement, and hyperactivity seem to be adopted patterns of behavior by Human society at large. This work, as well as artist’s previous mentioned pieces, comments upon the world at large. Unfortunately, this works calls to attention the idea that most of today’s actions, whether wasteful and harmful for the environment or for the human life, is a repetition of often frantic, disoriented actions.
Zhou Wendou’s Exhibition at de Sarthe Gallery
This strong single piece installation, ADHD, marks the first solo show for Zhou Wendou at de Sarthe Gallery in Hong Kong. Lasting from 22nd March – 23rd April 2016, this exhibition follows with the artist’s practice to raise questions and challenge the contemporary condition. In the context of this psychological analogy, the artist along with a psychologist will host a participatory performance on March 24th, 11am-1pm. Visitors willing to participate will fill out a questionnaire designed by the artist and later receive a psychological diagnosis.
Characterized by humorous teasing and distinctive clean execution, the artist in his work balances form and content perfectly. His discourse speaks of contemporary issues that may be heightened in China but is always global. Always inviting the audience to engage in a dialogue with his artwork, Wendou provides us with a mirror of our world.
All images courtesy of de Sarthe Gallery and the artist. Featured image in slider: Zhou Wendou – ADHD – (After the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) – Installation view.