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Hong Kong-based artist Zheng Bo's social, ecological, and community-engaged art practice has, in recent years, focused on moving beyond a human-centred perspective to an all-inclusive, multi-species approach. He takes up marginalised plants and communities of people as subjects in his large-scale interventions, which reintroduce wildness into...
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Singapore, February 2017 – ShanghART Singapore is pleased to present a solo show by acclaimed Singapore artist and photographer Robert Zhao Renhui, titled “Christmas Island, Naturally” on view from 11 March through 8 May. The exhibition comprises works commissioned for and exhibited at the Sydney Biennale 2016 and marks the debut of these works in Singapore, as well as showcasing previously unexhibited works in the series. The opening reception will be held Wednesday, 15 March 2017, from 6-9pm, including an artist’s talk and exhibition book launch.
Under his Institute of Critical Zoologists (ICZ), devoted to a “critical approach toward the zoological gaze, or how humans view animals” and to “advance unconventional, even radical, means of understanding human and animal relations,” the artist’s multi-disciplinary approach appropriates scientific language, tools, methods and even apparatus, juxtaposed with fabulist storytelling. His works inhabit an uncanny space between reality and fantasy, often exposing overlooked contradictions, assumptions, and tensions inherent in man’s relationship with nature. Blending fact and fiction, truth and artifice, the artist invites viewers to contemplate upon the image and information being presented, a reflexive gesture that proves to be particularly pertinent in an image-saturated world of “fake news.” And sometimes, as the artist demonstrates, truth is in fact stranger than fiction.
The artist conducted a research residency on Christmas Island between 2015-2016. A small volcanic outcrop in the Indian Ocean, the island’s geographic isolation has resulted in its endemic biodiversity. Once part of the Crown Colony of Singapore, the island is now an External Territory of Australia. Christmas Island is best known for its annual breeding migration of red land crabs from land to the sea, during which millions of bright red crustaceans overtake the island and all vehicular activity grinds to a halt. Phosphate mining, the island’s main industry, began in the late nineteenth century, and invasive species brought over by human settlers have tipped the scales of the island’s fragile ecological balance, driving multiple native species to extinction and threatening others. Conservation efforts include an island-wide culling of non-native cats, to which the island’s native fauna had fallen easy prey.
The artist’s study focuses on documenting the island’s imperiled and extinct species, and also examines the unintended consequences of man’s presence. The artist’s photographic series of the island’s strange creatures, natural phenomena and landmarks are accompanied by signature pseudo-scientific, tongue-in-cheek exposition and field notes. In addition, the artist references objects from the island for two installations on view. Memorial to the Christmas Island Pipistrelle (2016) is a solar-powered ultrasonic echolocator used to track the pipistrelle bat. Rendered meaningless due to the species’ extinction, the apparatus serves as silent, poignant reminder of the pipistrelle’s permanent absence. The elegant wooden form of Memorial to the Last Cat on Christmas Island (2016) belies its lethal function as a feral cat trap, indicated by its pointed installation together with a resin cat skeleton.
“Christmas Island, Naturally” culminates in a speculative solution to remove all invasive species from the island once and for all, whereby humans, also proverbial “invasive species”, opt to leave the island in order to preserve its ecology. This imagined scenario unfolds via a fictive conservation conference program, “Life After Humans – Rewilding Island Ecosystems,” as well as extracts from scientific papers presented.
Accompanying the exhibition, the titular book, Christmas Island, Naturally, a book imagines the result of this thought experiment fifty years into the future, containing 120 photographs and documents on the extinctions and conservation efforts on the island. The book will be launched during the opening reception following an artist’s talk. Limited copies of the book will also be available for purchase.
About Robert Zhao Renhui
Singaporean visual artist Robert Zhao Renhui (b. 1983) works chiefly with photography but often adopts a multi-disciplinary approach, presenting images together with documents and objects. Renhui’s work include textual and media analysis, video and photography projects. Recent exhibitions include the Sydney Biennale 2016, Arles Discovery Award 2015, ‘A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World’, Centre of Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2015); ‘The Nature Collector’, ShanghART, Shanghai (2015); ‘Flies Prefer Yellow’, Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco (2014); and ‘A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World’, Primo Marella Gallery, Milan (2014), Singapore Biennale 2013, Centre of Contemporary Photography (Melbourne) and Photoquai 2013. His work has also been awarded The Deutsche Bank Award in Photography (2011) by the University of the Arts London, The United Overseas Bank Painting of the Year Award (2009) Singapore. In 2010, he was awarded The Young Artist Award by the Singapore National Arts Council. His work has also been featured prominently in Artforum International, ArtAsiaPacific, European Photography, Pipeline, Archivo, Fotografia and Punctum.
About ShanghART Gallery
ShanghART Gallery was established in Shanghai in 1996. It has since grown to become one of China’s most influential art institutions and a vital player in the development of contemporary art in China, representing over 40 pioneering and emerging Asian artists, including DING Yi, Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL, Xu Zhen - Produced by MadeIn Company, YANG Fudong, and ZENG Fanzhi. Founder Lorenz Helbling is included in ArtReview’s 2016 Power 100.
新加坡，2017 年 2 月——香格纳画廊荣幸宣布新加坡艺术家赵仁辉个展“圣诞岛，自然而然”将于 3 月 11 日至 5 月 8 日在新加坡吉门营房香格纳画廊空间展出。 展览包含艺术家在 2016 年悉尼双年展展出的系列作品，这些作品也是首次亮相新加坡。开幕活动将在 3 月 15 日晚 6 点至 9 点于香格纳画廊空间举办，艺术家将 亲临现场进行演讲和新书发布。
赵仁辉将艺术家身份隐匿在“动物学家批判学会”（ICZ）这一虚构的科学组织下，致力于发展一种“批判方法论下的动物学研究，简言之，就是人类看待动物 的方式”，并努力“推动创新甚至是激进的、理解人类与动物关系的手段”。艺术家采用了多方论证法，运用科学的语言、工具、方法和仪器，以寓言家的姿态 进行叙事。他的作品游走于现实和幻想之间，展示那些被忽略的矛盾、假设，以及人与自然关系中固有的紧张与冲突。他将现实与虚构、真相与诡计糅合在一起， 让观众在面对这些图像、信息时有所思考，尤其在当今这个充斥了图像、“虚假新闻”的世界。如赵仁辉所说，现实有时比虚构更怪诞。
2015-2016 年期间，赵仁辉在圣诞岛上进行自然研究。这座位于印度洋中的火山岛屿，由于地理上的隔绝，造成了该地区独特的生物多样性现象。圣诞岛曾为新 加坡英属海峡殖民地的一部分，现为澳大利亚的海外领地。圣诞岛最为奇特的景观是红螃蟹一年一度的从陆地到海洋的繁殖迁徙，其间，数百万“红色军团”占 领岛屿，所有往来车辆都要慢行让路。磷酸盐开采业是岛上的主要产业，始于十九世纪后期，随之而来，由人类定居者带来的入侵物种日益影响到岛上脆弱的生 态平衡，造成多种本土物种灭绝。缺少天敌的原生生物逐渐沦为当地生物链的低端，就连外来物种猫也对其造成威胁，因此全岛范围内对猫的捕杀也成为一项生 态保护工作。
赵仁辉主要研究岛上的濒危物种，检视人类生存痕迹对自然造成的意想不到的后果。他的摄影系列呈现了圣诞岛上奇特的生物种群、自然现象和自然地标，以及 他独树一帜的“伪科学”和戏谑式的记录和诠释。此外，展出的两件装置作品取材于岛上物件。《纪念圣诞岛伏翼蝙蝠》（2016），是一台太阳能超声波回声定 位器，用于探测圣诞岛伏翼蝙蝠的行踪。仪器随着物种的灭绝已经丧失了原始的功能性，它的静默似在控诉一个物种的灭绝。《纪念圣诞岛上的最后一只猫》（2016）， 由固定的支架和一个树脂做的猫骨架组成，精致的木制结构似乎掩饰了它作为野生猫捕捉器的致命功能。
展览同名限量画册《圣诞岛，自然而然》，描绘了这项想象实验在未来 50 年后的结果，包含了圣诞岛上濒危物种和物种保护工作的 120 张照片和文件。 画册将 在 3 月 15 日的开幕式上正式对外发布，届时公众亦可现场购买。
赵仁辉（b. 1983）是新加坡籍视觉艺术家，他主要以摄影进行创作，同时采用多学科方法将影像与实物并置呈现。他的作品主要探讨人类与大自然的关系、仁 义与道德的课题，同时也关注人类的态度和观点如何影响我们对大自然的认知。他曾在很多地方做过展览，2016 年悉尼双年展，2015 年阿尔勒摄影节，2013 年 新加坡双年展，澳大利亚当代摄影中心（墨尔本），和 2013 年法国 Photoquai。2010 年，他被授予由新加坡国家艺术理事会颁发给青年艺术家的国家最高奖项
主要个展包括：“无尽藏”，香格纳画廊，上海（2015），“苍蝇喜欢黄色”，卡蒂斯特艺术基金会，旧金山（2014）； “假象或现实”，Anzenberger 画廊， 维也纳（2014）； “世界动植物漫游指南”，Primo Marella 画廊，米兰（2014）；“你看到的最后光景”，2902 画廊，新加坡（2014）;“动物学家评论学会”， Chapter 艺术中心，英国（2012）；“大地档案”，当代艺术研究所，新加坡（2011）；“白鲸之白”，福冈亚洲艺术博物馆，日本（2010）；“如果树倒下”， 变电站艺术中心，新加坡（2009）。
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