Zhou Wendou's creativity has undergone a transformation over the past two decades. He first began as a painter and then transitioned to photography with a focus on constructing camera oriented installations. After this, he focused on producing installation art, to which he still dedicates himself. Utilizing commonly found ready-made objects, his artwork is born out of conventional forms through a process of deconstruction and transformation. He constantly looks towards the boundaries of art and attempts to challenge the appearance and shape of objects. He deliberately removes certain properties of objects, but does not contribute his own subjective judgment or emotions in the process. On the contrary, he records his creations metaphysically and shows it in moderate and humorous ways.
The title of the exhibition, Bu Qian, is extracted from a concept used by Chinese philosophers of ancient times. Partial translations are 'immutable' or 'immovable,' depending on which school of thought uses the term.It is the idea that sometime things will remain unshakable, immobile, even when the environment surrounding them changes. In this exhibition, common objects such as lamps and slingshots remain unaltered yet submitted to different forces that rip off their original use and turn them into artistic installations. Each artwork has an intrinsic tension yet remains motionless in the gallery. The hull of a boat floating in two buckets of water is the starting point of the exhibition, and leads the audience to a pile of skateboards. Everything in the show appears motionless, as if suspended in time, but also seems as if it is on the edge of giving way to movement. This is Zhou Wendou's interpretation of Bu Qian.
Born in Beijing in 1970, Zhou Wendou is currently lives and works in Beijing, China. He attended to the Central Academy of Arts and Design (currently Academy of Arts and Design of Tsinghua University) and graduated in 1996. He then went to the Academy of Fine Arts of Complutense University of Madrid in Spain in 1998 to study painting, from which he graduated in 2003 with a D.E.A.
Zhou Wendou's recent solo exhibitions include, ADHD, de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong (2016); Borderless, de Sarthe Gallery, Beijing, China (2015); The Study, Other Gallery, Shanghai, China (2013); The Use of the Useless, Other Gallery, Shanghai, China (2010). His group exhibitions include Project 2: Hybridizing Earth, Discussing Multitudes - Seventh Busan Biennale, Busan, South Korea (2016); Current Reality, Hidden Barriers, de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong (2014); Architecture China - The 100 Contemporary Projects, Reiss Engelhorn Museen (REM), Mannheim, Germany (2012); How To Philosophize With A Hammer, White Box, New York, USA (2011); Suspensions of Disbelief, Other Gallery, Shanghai, China (2010); and Beijing Time - La hora de China, Matadero Madrid Contemporary Art Center, Madrid, Spain (2009).
Zhou Wendou's artwork has been collected by several public institutions including, Fundación Antonio Pérez, Cuenca, Spain; Art and Heritage Collection, Complutense Univeresity of Madrid, Madrid, Spain; White Rabbit Collections, Sydney, Australia and How Art Museum, Shanghai, China.
Press release courtesy de Sarthe.