Tianzhuo Chen – GHOST
September 24 – November 19 2017
Tianzhuo Chen (b. 1985, lives and works in Beijing and Shanghai) opens his solo show, GHOST, at Kunsthalle Winterthur with one of his maverick performances incorporating sound, dance and light into a pop-surreal spectacle. Chen's work navigates between high and low cultures, incorporating elements from the visual arts and opera, rave, punk and fashion as well as underground or fetish culture. For many of his critics and detractors, Chen embodies the enfant terrible of contemporary Chinese art, his apparently most unbearable characteristic being his willing embrace of grand narratives, taboos, cliches and what some may deem “bad” taste.
Tianzhuo Chen's artistic production may well also comprise traditional forms such as drawing, painting and sculpture, but it is his flamboyant performances that attract and repel art viewers most. Their narrative structure is often based on East and South Asian folklore and mythology, in turn brought together through a multimedia extravaganza: voluminous techno rhythms accompany loud acoustic backgrounds while dazzling lighting effects illuminate live dancers and life-sized props. Protagonists interact, writhe, shout and play in absurdist and often grotesque or maniacal dramas, embodying symbols of a pop culture gone mad.
Chen has created new work exclusively for Kunsthalle Winterthur. Centre stage is an amphitheatre-like structure that connects the two exhibition halls, housing various objects, prints and sculptures. Also on view is G.H.O.S.T.S., a new video work filmed in December 2016 in the streets of Varanasi, India, immediately adjacent the sacred Hindu spot where every year, millions of bodies are cremated and their ashes delivered to river Ganges.
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