Zhe Zhu and Zhangbolong Liu: Vanitas/Traces | 朱喆与刘张铂泷:维尼塔斯/痕迹

Carma餐厅, 38 Carmine St, Manhattan, NY 10014 | 38 Carmine St, 曼哈顿, 纽约10014

April 24, 2015–June 28, 2015 | 2015年4月24日–2015年6月28日

Fou Gallery and the modern Asian restaurant Carma are pleased to present a group exhibition, showcasing two New York-based artists Zhe Zhu and Zhangbolong Liu from April 24 through June 28, 2015. Titled Vanitas and Traces, the exhibition will open on April 24 along with a wine reception within the newly opened Carma restaurant space.

In his Vanitas Series, the young photographer Zhe Zhu focuses on a certain type of mood created by the process of deterioration and decay within everyday objects.

In Zhangbolong Liu’s Traces Series, on the other hand, the artist captures subtle hints tracing back to past performances or removed objects on a now empty stage. Fou Gallery and Carma have decided to collaborate in order to explore the alternative exhibition space. Both entities hope to enable the integration of unusual and unique works of art into different facets of everyday life, as well as to trigger innovation within the conventional gallery space structure.

The Vanitas Series, which Zhu has been developing over the last two years, 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.

In his Traces series, started in 2012, Zhangbolong Liu attempts to document objects that have already disappeared completely from view, or, rather, his subject matter is to capture the “existence of non-existent things.” Within Liu’s photographs, time is seen to be the manipulating force over the traces left behind by removed objects. Through empty slideshow, missing objects in a museum showcase, leftover pinholes on isolated wallpaper and wrinkled bed sheets that have not yet been flattened out, the so-called “non-existent objects” are able to declare their existence after all.

In this vast and ever changing universe, it seems as though fixed objects are, in fact, in a state of ceaseless transformation as well. The process of photographing their “traces” enables Liu Zhangbolong to engage in the complex relationship between internal perception and external change, as well as documenting and affirming their existence. Lastly, once completing a sale, the artwork’s “traces” will disappear once again.

Read the full press release here.