Yan Zhou: Where to Begin?
In the project “Where to Begin?”, artist Yan Zhou focuses his attention on two personas. They are Xiaolyu and “Commander”.
Living all year round in an inland city far from mainstream contemporary art centres, the artist Xiaolyu began to feel a widening gulf between the long-term closeted nature of his own creation and prevailing trends in the wider art world. In light of doubt and anxiety about the relation between exhibitions and studio practice, from 2008, he decided not to participate in any exhibitions. In the work Xiaolyu in 2008, Yan Zhou appropriated some of the visual tools that had been used in Xiaolyu’s works around 2008 (that have to date not yet been placed on public display) with the aim of examining and interpreting those tools.
The second work here, titled Commander, is the transcript of an interview with a man dressed in U.S military garb, given the nickname “commander” by his friends. For some time, “Commander” has been engaged in illegal excavation work, and even though this has proved entirely unfruitful, his enthusiasm and passion for the work remains undiminished. As does the belief that he has a talent for the work. In the video, “Commander” speaks, on the one hand, with the interviewer of the perplexities of his work and life and, on the other, with a collaborator of the first time they explored a valuable gravesite.
About the Artist
Yan Zhou was born in Xi’an in 1986. He graduated from Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts. Currently he works and lives in Beijing and Xi’an. Yan Zhou’s works has been presented in Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Today Art Museum, Times Art Museum Beijing, OCAT Xi’an and Berlin University of the Arts. As a photographer, he also active in many exhibitions and events in China in recently years.