Art embodying consciousness and biological forms


There are several identities for Zhou Hoho: fashion designer, musician and artist.

The exhibition “Zhou Hoho: Carry Me with Forms”, which showcases the artist’s work over the past five years – mainly installations, sculptures and photographs – is on-going at the Long Museum West Bund until September 12.

The title of the exhibition is taken from the book “Zhuangzi”, one of the most important Taoist texts in Chinese tradition.

Curated by art critic Wang Xiaosong, the exhibition features 19 groups of Zhou’s works, embodying the idea of ​​consciousness and the biological forms she has explored throughout her career.

Zhou’s personal life and learning experiences have conditioned her to be artistically and professionally sensitive to mixed media and visual arts communication, as well as to explore natural forms of life.

At a young age, she and her mother left China and went to Germany, where she received an early musical education. After returning to China, she studied at a high school affiliated with the Sichuan Conservatory of Music. Unfortunately, she gave up the piano three years later, as her hands weren’t big enough for a professional pianist.

“Maybe it’s skeletal dysplasia,” she said.

This could explain his fascination with human skeletons in his later artistic creations. In his eyes, a skeleton is the truth of life.

“In fact, the skeletons are growing and they are the very support of life,” she said. “I prefer the texture of the skeletons, which represent the most primitive state of each creature and the process of evolution.”

Some call Zhou’s work “skeletal sculpture” because many of his works, while representing the diversity of life, at first glance are reminiscent of skeletons.

Quirky and abstract in appearance, his works sometimes even seem foreign and alternative, and are, in his words, “the natural extension of everyday objects that are often neglected”.

The global pandemic made Zhou reflect on the “visible” and the “present”. For example, several of his works in the exhibition show skeletal “human lungs” infected with COVID-19.

Daughter of Zhou Chunya, who is one of the best-selling Chinese artists on the contemporary art scene, Zhou Hoho visibly leads a capricious life compared to her peers.

Failing to be a pianist, she is admitted to the Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts. After graduation, she continued her education at Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo, just because of her love for VAMPS, a Japanese rock-n-roll band.

Because she studied costume design in Japan, she understands the characteristics of fabrics and applies them to her sculptures and installations.

“We learn various things throughout our lives, and I believe there is nothing unnecessary. At some point, it’s going to push you around and give you support,” she said.

Courtesy of A4 Art Museum

“Sound Shape” by Zhou Hoho (detail), 2021

Exhibition information

Dates: Until September 12 (closed Mondays), 10 am-5:30pm

Banknotes: 200 yuan

Location: Long Museum (West Bund)

Address: 3398, avenue Longteng

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