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Hito Steyerl: How To Build a Sustainable Art World Ocula Conversation Hito Steyerl: How To Build a Sustainable Art World

'A Picture of War is Not War', we read in Hito Steyerl's iconic film November (2004), an essayistic Super 8 film tackling the definition of terrorism constructed around the figure of the artist's best friend Andrea Wolf, who was killed as a terrorist in 1998 in Eastern Anatolia after she joined the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Mixing documentary...

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Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future Ocula Report Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future 11 Oct 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
Sponsored Content | Mazzoleni Gallery
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Zhou Tiehai

b. 1966, China

 Zhou Tiehai's conceptual projects represent the artist's vengeance and attitude towards the self-absorbed art market. His work's power to amaze and provoke is the result of a host of strategies that mix antagonism with sincerity. The key ingredients that drive Zhou Tiehai's unsettling yet amusing practice includes appropriating classical imagery, generating ironic projections, proclaiming laconic yet heartfelt discourse and actively subverting painterly craft. He takes on the role of both artist and patron since many of his airbrush paintings are rendered by assistants under his supervision. He permits himself to 'play' with art's historical baggage by making paintings that are simultaneously self-aware and self-abnegating, virtuosic and pop all within a single canvas. He manipulates acclaimed magazine covers for his own purposes and articulates the notion of 'artistic agency' within current conditions of the art world and global economy. He makes self-promotional images that subvert the establishment notion of how artists should look and behave.

In the Placebo and Ego (2006) series, Zhou Tiehai ironically replaces his subject's faces with a camel’s head. He chooses canonical portraits by da Vinci, Goya and Ingres as well as contemporary stars like Jeff Koons, Richard Prince and Maurizio Cattelan as his models. Here too, the airbrush technique subverts the 'genius' brushstroke that is the 'inspired' individual signature of the classical master. A placebo is a substitute drug. It is an inert substance administered to stimulate the patient's psychosomatically induced curative effect. The constructed and appropriated imagery of Zhou Tiehai's praxis thus functions as a 'real' placebo. He makes critical art, but not in the conventional understanding of the term. While his works display a narrative that draws on contemporary topics and the mechanisms of artistic reception and the market, he strategically refrains from making any clear value judgments.

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Featured Artworks

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Figure (green) 人物 (绿色) by Zhou Tiehai contemporary artwork
Zhou TiehaiFigure (green) 人物 (绿色), 2001 Oil on canvas
116 x 88 cm
ShanghART
Mata Hari by Zhou Tiehai contemporary artwork
Zhou TiehaiMata Hari, 2007 Acrylic on canvas (airbrush)
200 x 150 cm
ShanghART
Charles Chaplin - Modern Times 6 by Zhou Tiehai contemporary artwork
Zhou TiehaiCharles Chaplin - Modern Times 6, 2007 Oil on canvas
100 x 90 cm
ShanghART
Le Ministre--Box21-04-02/HK08 by Zhou Tiehai contemporary artwork
Zhou TiehaiLe Ministre--Box21-04-02/HK08, 2007 Installation
70 x 70 x 6.5 cm
ShanghART
Le Ministre- Box39-07-03/HK15 by Zhou Tiehai contemporary artwork
Zhou TiehaiLe Ministre- Box39-07-03/HK15, 2007-8 Installation
70 x 70 x 6.5 cm
ShanghART
Le Ministre-- Box17-03-02/HK05 by Zhou Tiehai contemporary artwork
Zhou TiehaiLe Ministre-- Box17-03-02/HK05, 2007-8 Installation
70 x 70 x 6.5 cm
ShanghART
Le Ministre-Box01-01-01/ HK01 by Zhou Tiehai contemporary artwork
Zhou TiehaiLe Ministre-Box01-01-01/ HK01, 2006 Installation
70 x 70 x 6.5 cm
ShanghART

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Summer Wind Flirts among Words 夏风惹来一堆字 at ShanghART, Shanghai
Closed
27 July–28 August 2019 Group Exhibition Summer Wind Flirts among Words 夏风惹来一堆字 ShanghART, Westbund, Shanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Group exhibition, The Avant-Garde is Not Afraid of a Long March 前卫不怕远征难 at ShanghART, Singapore
Closed
16 February–28 April 2019 Group exhibition The Avant-Garde is Not Afraid of a Long March 前卫不怕远征难 ShanghART, Singapore
Contemporary art exhibition, Group exhibition, Side Lanes 辅路 at ShanghART, Shanghai
Closed
18 January–24 February 2019 Group exhibition Side Lanes 辅路 ShanghART, Westbund, Shanghai

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