Ji Zhou: Civilized Landscape

September 10 – October 10, 2015


Press Release

Klein Sun Gallery is pleased to announce Civilized Landscape, Ji Zhou’s first solo exhibition in the U.S., on view from September 10 through October 10, 2015.

In his multimedia practice, Beijing-based Ji Zhou initiates a critical dialogue between reality, perception, and possibility. Themes from the artist's previous series of photography largely dictate and inspire these new works for Civilized Landscape. For example, in the Dust series (2010), photographs of organized landscapes covered in dust were conceived after a fire in the artist's studio. With the click of his shutter, he framed the still-settling ashes atop domestic objects, creating an image dense with temporal dimensions and fine layers of sediment. Ji Zhou honors the quiet aftermath of the fire, rather than the trauma itself, questioning the obvious forms of composition and documentation. His prior series, Event (2007), examines a similar concept where the artist critiques the genre of documentary photography and the blurred lines separating fiction and nonfiction.

Ji Zhou’s new photographic works for Civilized Landscape further subvert the object as a vehicle for visual representation and interpretation; maps and books become landscapes of possibility. The process tells as much of a story as the final image does: Ji Zhou collects maps, hand-sculpting them into peaks and troughs to mimic mountaintops. He includes books that are assembled into cantilevered towers resembling city skyscrapers. These ‘rural’ and ‘urban’ illusions are then photographed, further augmenting reality. As always, Ji Zhou chooses to question rather than offer his own conclusions: What is civilization – a constructed illusion created by man or an inevitable product of evolution? What is the truly ‘civilized landscape’– tautology or oxymoron? 

Ji Zhou was born in Beijing, China, in 1970. He graduated with an MFA in Plastic Arts from the Pantheon-Sorbonne University in Paris, France, in 2005. His solo exhibitions include “Objectified Spectacle,” Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2013) and “In Situ,” Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2008). Group exhibitions include: “The Persistence of Images,” Redtory Art and Culture Organization, Guangzhou, China (2015); “The 9th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China (2013); “Retrospection & Deviation,” Times Art Museum, Beijing, China (2011); "Rendez-vous 09,” Institut d'Art Contemporain de Villeurbanne, Rhône-Alpes, France (2009) and “55 Days in Valencia,” IVAM Centre Julio González, Valencia, Spain (2008).
For press inquiries please contact Ysabelle Cheung at the gallery (212.255.4388) or via email at ysabelle@kleinsungallery.com. For all other inquiries, please contact Casey Burry at the gallery (212.255.4388) or via email at casey@kleinsungallery.com.