ZHE ZHU (b.1993,Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China)
Graduated from Photography at School of Visual Arts, New York (B.F.A) in 2015, Zhu currently works and lives in New York and Shanghai. He is recently awarded the Avant Guardian by Surface magazine. His recent shows include Art book in China, Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum (2016); The First Edition of Changjiang International Photography & Video Biennale at Changjiang Museum of Contemporary Art, Chongqing (2015); Portfolio Show Case Volume 8 Group Exhibition at The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, U.S.A. (2015); Zhe Zhu and Zhangbolong Liu: Vanitas/Traces, Carma and Fou Gallery, New York (2015). His work is included in Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai.
Zhu’s latest collaboration with Fernando Villela - Time Flies So First Things First- challenges the nature of photographic materials in the era of ubiquitous presence of social media and information explosion. Zhu’s works manifest how photograph falls apart and turn to be merely materials of mass consumption in today’s visual environment. His Vanitas series, which has gained him significant critical attention, was inspired by a type of symbolic still life painting that flourished in Flanders and the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries. These particular oil paintings, referred to as “Vanitas”, typically depicted decaying flowers, rotten fruits, skulls, hourglasses and other symbols to represent the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits, including the fleeting moments of both happiness and sorrow. Based on this concept, Zhe Zhu gathers objects that are in different stages of consumption or decay and arranges the photographic setting according to the composition of the old “Vanitas” paintings. Using either a large-format film camera or a medium format digital camera to record these images, the artist creates photographs that feel like actual Old Master paintings, which expresses a unique form of individuality in the face of our current age of consumerism.
Artist’s website: www.zhezhu.net