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Birdhead Biography

Birdhead is an artist collective whose oeuvre consists of photographic captures of everyday life in their native city Shanghai. The snap-shot aesthetic of their extensive and accumulative photo-series (b/w as well as colour) delivers a subjective and un-retouched take on todays' urban reality.

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"I often feel that November is a boy with his trouser pockets filled with roasted chestnut, wearing a thin shirt in the chilly wind, and walking aggressively and bravely. A long time ago, before Starbucks, McDonald's and Dolby-surrounding cinemas, in numerous sunny November days, the idle boys had to wander in groups across the streets, fiercely and energetically. And seemingly, our Shanghai grows in their wandering and repeated stare. The dark-green scaffolds are removed and mounted; the cement columns of the viaducts silently form the shade over our heads; large landscape expands across the old houses that have once witnessed our birth; during typhoon season, the ferry dock trembles in Huangpu River; at midnight, earthwork trucks run across the void roads. Tank cars. Roses. Ruins. Fountains. Fireworks. It takes too long and the night is looming. They almost cross the entire Shanghai, when the columns of the viaducts are occupied by green Boston ivy.

Our hearts are filled with a huge amount of love and sadness.

Afterwards, there are metro and light rail, crossing through Shanghai under the ground or in the sky. Time passes too quickly for us to make a revolutionary posture. No time for questions and hesitation. There's a voice pushing us, following the boy with chestnuts, wandering aggressively and aimlessly, to witness what shadow our Shanghai will create and when the ivy will cover all the roads."

JI Weiyu (1980) and SONG Tao (1979) were both born in Shanghai, where they also reside and work today. The artists graduated from the Shanghai Arts and Crafts School in 2000. Recent exhibitions include: New Photography 2012, MoMA, NewYork, U.S.A.(2012); Reactivation - 9th Shanghai Biennale, Power Station of Art, Shanghai(2012); The 54th Venice Biennale——ILLUMInations, Venice, Italy (2011); China Power Station - part 4, Pinacoteca Agnelli, Torino, Italy (2010); The World of Other's: A Contemporary Art Exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai (2008); China Power Station II, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway (2007). And their solo exhibitions include: Welcome to Bird Head World Again-Beijing 2012, ShanghART Beijing, Beijing(2012); Birdhead: New Village, EX3 Centro per l'arte Contemporanea Firenze, Florence, Italy (2011); Artist File 2011 The NACT Annual Show of Contemporary Art, National Art Center, Tokyo, Japan (2011); Welcome to the World of Bird Head Again-2010, Guangzhou; Lianzhou (2010); Bird Head 2006+2007 Photography Show, BizArt, Shanghai (2007).

Exhibition view: Group Exhibition, Cache: From B to Z, ShanghART, Shanghai (12 April–30 August 2020). Courtesy ShanghART.

Birdhead Featured Artworks

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Passions Bloom Ambitions - 46 by Birdhead contemporary artwork
BirdheadPassions Bloom Ambitions - 46, 2017Colour chromogenic print, gelatin silver print printed on Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta 325g, collage, alloy nails, wet mounted on basswood, framed with elmwood
153 x 103 x 6 cm
ShanghART Contact Gallery
CrazyBird 2019-001 by Birdhead contemporary artwork
BirdheadCrazyBird 2019-001, 2019Gelatin silver print | acrylic paints, ink, stamp, photopaper, organic glass, paper clay, resin, staples, copper nail, pegwood, thread, film, elmwood frame, teakwood frame
ShanghART Contact Gallery
Passions Bloom Ambitions 2017-35 情放志荡2017-35 by Birdhead contemporary artwork
BirdheadPassions Bloom Ambitions 2017-35 情放志荡2017-35, 2017Gelatine silver print photo pinned with copper nails on basswood, teakwood frame
90 x 117 cm
ShanghART Contact Gallery
2018-CrazyBird-1 | 2018 - 鵟 -1 by Birdhead contemporary artwork
Birdhead2018-CrazyBird-1 | 2018 - 鵟 -1, 2018Photograph installation
ShanghART Contact Gallery
Dreamed-Breeze-2 我梦有风-2 by Birdhead contemporary artwork
BirdheadDreamed-Breeze-2 我梦有风-2, 2018Pinwheel, lamp, sound, fan, wood, metal rod, transparent plastic, Iron frame, LED, silk, aluminous model board, wood, b&w photograph
ShanghART Contact Gallery
Dreamed-Breeze-1 我梦有风-1 by Birdhead contemporary artwork
BirdheadDreamed-Breeze-1 我梦有风-1, 2018Pinwheel, lamp, sound, fan, wood, metal rod, transparent plastic, Iron frame, LED, silk, aluminous model board, wood, color photograph
ShanghART Contact Gallery
Today 2004-01 by Birdhead contemporary artwork
BirdheadToday 2004-01, 2014Gelatin silver print
57 x 42 cm
ShanghART Contact Gallery

Birdhead Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Cache: From B to Z at ShanghART, Shanghai
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12 April–30 August 2020 Group Exhibition Cache: From B to Z ShanghARTWestbund, Shanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Birdhead, Welcome to Birdhead World Again, Beijing 2018 at ShanghART, Beijing
9 September–16 October 2018 Birdhead Welcome to Birdhead World Again, Beijing 2018 ShanghARTBeijing

Birdhead Represented By

ShanghART contemporary art gallery in Singapore ShanghART Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore

Birdhead In Ocula Magazine

At Art Taipei, Galleries Adapt to Regional Politics Ocula Report At Art Taipei, Galleries Adapt to Regional Politics By Sam Gaskin, Tapiei

In Taipei, the artwork that said most about the contemporary art market's fraught situation in East Asia was not at the 26th Art Taipei (18–21 October 2019), but across town at the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab, a publicly funded art park established in Taiwan's former Air Force Command Headquarters in 2018. Chin Cheng-Te's Tender Soul –...

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Birdhead In Related Press

Photo Gallery: 'Welcome to Birdhead World Again' at ShanghART, Singapore Related Press Photo Gallery: 'Welcome to Birdhead World Again' at ShanghART, Singapore 1 January 2017, Art Radar Journal

ShanghART in Singapore is holding Welcome to Birdhead World Again, a solo exhibition by Chinese photography duo Bird Head, including new works commissioned and mounted especially for the show. This exhibition is the result of the first in a series of Southeast Asia residencies made possible by ShanghART with the support of the National Arts...

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Unlimited section at Art Basel in Basel to include El Anatsui, Stan Douglas et al. Related Press Unlimited section at Art Basel in Basel to include El Anatsui, Stan Douglas et al. 29 April 2016, ARTNews

Unlimited, the Art Basel platform allotted for large-scale and unconventional artworks, will be showing a record 88 projects from participating galleries this year. Gianni Jetzer, curator-at-large at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, is heading the section for the fifth year in a row.

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