Ji Zhou was born in 1970, Beijing. After graduating from the Printmaking Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1994, he continued his postgraduate studies at the University Paris Ⅰ, where he received his MFA in 2005.

Ji Zhou communicates his unique perspective of space and time through photography and sculpture. He takes pictures of an object or a space at different times and alternative angles, disassembles them, then recombines them into a collage showing the integration of time and space. His “dust·track” series was displayed in many Asian art exhibitions, including The Armory Show in 2013. In recent years, Zhou has frequently collaborated with galleries and art institutions. In June 2017, he was once again invited by the KLEIN SUN and came to New York with his art works. On a summer afternoon, Lydia Duamnu interviewed him at a coffee shop in TriBeCa, New York.

计洲于1970年出生于中国北京。1994年从中央美术学院版画系毕业之后,他于2005年从巴黎第一大学毕业并获得艺术硕士学位。

计洲通过摄影和雕塑的艺术形式来表达他的对空间及时间的特别理解,他拍摄了同一个物体或环境在不同时间的状态,被打碎后重新组合成一种新的时间图像,以此探索了同样的事件由于角度和时间的不同,重新组合安排后带来破碎性中的完整统一。他的《尘·迹》系列在诸多亚洲艺术展以及2013年纽约军械库艺术展中展出。近年来多次来美国纽约与画廊和艺术机构合作,2017年6月,他又一次受到纽约凯尚 (KLEIN SUN)的邀请,带着他的摄影作品来到纽约。在一个夏天的午后,Lydia Duamnu 在纽约 TriBeCa的一个咖啡馆采访了他。

Lydia Duanmu:

Most of the art works you are showing this time in New York are about cities and gardens disassembled and reconstructed. Would you tell us about your artistic vision in these pieces?

Ji Zhou:

These images reflect my feelings of this world from my personal point of view. They are a realistic record of the scenes, disassembled then recombined to become seemingly unrealistic images, but in fact they are the most truthful representation of those scenes of life. Every day, we come across a lot of information fragments that overwhelm us. We judge the authenticity of each fragment on our own. The result is a personal integration of these fragments. In the end, it’s the same space, the same thing but at different times and different states, disassembled and recombined through photography before it is re-presented to the audience.

Lydia Duanmu:

这次纽约您的展览,大部分是城市和花园被剪切和重新拼装的作品,能谈谈这批作品的艺术角度吗?

Ji Zhou:

今天的图像,是从我个人的角度来体现我对这个世界的感受,在一个场景的真实纪录,被碎片化,再拼在一起,变成一种貌似不真实的状态,其实它是最真实的,我们每天接触的大量的信息,铺天盖地像碎片一样把你包围着,每个碎片的真实性由自己去判断,最终整合的结果都是个人的选择。我用摄影的手段,将同样的空间,同样的事务,在不同时间中,不同的状态,最终打碎又重新组合后,回归给观众。

Lydia Duanmu:

There is a series of photography of sculptures in your works, in which you used maps to make mountain sculptures then took photos of them. Can you talk to us about that?

Ji Zhou:

I have carefully thought over this group of works. First, I think it must be visually beautiful. The map is a tool by which we know the world, but it’s also an expression of science. I casually molded it into a landscape, highlighting its texture on the surface, but it is empty inside. This group of works is a perfect representation of my combined interest in sculpture and the art of photography.

Lyda Duanmu:

您的作品中有一组山的雕塑摄影作品,您用地图做成山的雕塑,用摄影再现了它的形式,很多人喜欢这组作品,您能谈谈关于它的故事吗?

Ji Zhou:

这组作品我很仔细的构思过,首先我想要它一定在视觉上是漂亮的。地图是我们认识世界的工具,同时也是科学的依据,我随意把它捏成山水,表面突出它的肌理,但是里面是空的,这组作品是我的雕塑和摄影艺术的完美结合。

Lydia Duanmu:

Your photography “The building of books” is a series that collectors favor as well. Would you tell us about it?

Ji Zhou:

In this series, what I wish to express is entirely my personal life experience, a kind of numbness to the trend of globalization. Nowadays, wherever you go in the world, you see similar things. The characteristics of each city are gradually worn down and the cultural features are disappearing. I use books as the theme because they are the wealth of mankind and the cultural essence of each place on earth. They integrate art, history, traditions and so forth. We use the pages of these precious historic books to construct the high-rise model buildings. The idea is that as the world integrates into one, travel has gradually lost its fun, and many places become so much alike. Why have we become numb and unexcited when we travel to different places these days?This group of works attempts to provide an answer.

Lydia Duanmu:

您的摄影作品  书楼 也是收藏家比较喜欢的系列,能谈谈吗?

Ji Zhou:

在这组作品中,我想表达的完全是我个人的感受,一种对全球模式化的麻木感受。现在无论去哪里旅游,看到的东西都差不多,各个城市的特点渐渐在磨平,文化特点在消失。用书来做题材,因为这些都是我们人类真正的财富,书里面是一个地方的文化精髓,艺术,历史,传统等等,而我们正用一页一页走过的宝贵历史财富建造这些高楼大厦,最终全球是一体化了,但是旅游也渐渐失去乐趣了,很多地方太像了,这组作品也是想给人们一个答案,为什么我们去的地方多了,而我们越来越不兴奋了,越来越麻木了。

Lydia Duanmu:

You hate it, don’t you?

Ji Zhou:

Not really.Just I always wonder why I am not excited any more when I travel. There are places I have not been, but I can guess what they may look like. Global travel has run out of charm for me but this didn’t happen in one day.  It’s shame that global integration gives people the side effect of numbness towards life. That’s why I made these scenes especially beautiful. Behind the beauty is emptiness, a regret of losing the historic richness of the world.

Lydia Duanmu:

您很痛恨这种行为吧?

Ji Zhou:

那也谈不上,只是我想为什么走到哪里旅游我都不兴奋了,有些地方没去过,也能猜出长得什么样儿了。旅游渐渐失去它的魅力,但这也不是一天造成的,我觉得挺可惜的。全球一体化带来的副作用就是人们对生活的麻木。所以我把这个题材做的特别美,美的后面是空的,是对历史真正财富的一种缅怀。

Lydia Duanmu:

Does your experience of living in Europe have an impact on your works?

Ji Zhou:

Yes, it has an impact on my perspective on painting. Previously, when I was an artist in China, whether you were a good artist was basically judged by a set of criteria, usually on the techniques you used. This easily strangles an artist’s style. Before going abroad, I was confused, and I often questioned myself if I was an artist or not. After going to France, I was convinced that I could only be an artist. Since then my art has flourished because of this sense of freedom.

Lydia Duanmu:

您在欧洲生活的经历对您的作品有影响吗?

Ji Zhou:

有,是做画状态上的影响。以前在国内做艺术,基本都有评判艺术家的标准,从技术层面上来评判什么是好的,什么是坏的。这样很容易扼杀了艺术家的个性,没出国之前,我经常会怀疑自己是否是个艺术家,去了法国后我坚信我只能是个艺术家了,我的艺术得到了极大的自由。

Lydia Duanmu:

Many Chinese artists don’t have the experience of studying abroad. What do you see in their local style from their works?

Ji Zhou:

That is not so obvious these days. The Internet is so developed that many Chinese contemporary artists are learning the techniques popular in the West from the websites. But you’ll soon find that many artists are using the same techniques. Therefore, contemporary art is a question of the personal characteristics and feelings. Whether one has received education abroad or not doesn’t really matter now.

Lydia Duanmu:

很多中国艺术家没有出国学习的经历,您能从他们的作品上看出来他们的本土风格吗?

Ji Zhou:

现在这种情况不明显了,互联网太发达了,现在看中国当代艺术家,他们也在学习国外的很多流行技法,你也经常会眼前一亮,但是很快就会发现,很多艺术家也在使用同样的技法,所以当代艺术讲究的是个人的特质和感受,有没有在国外受过教育,现在来说不重要了。

Lydia Duanmu:

When working with different galleries, do you take into consideration of the local market’s unique characteristics and adjust your art form accordingly?

Ji Zhou:

In general, the European art market focuses on life and classic  taste. The US art market prefers avant-garde, eye-catching and fast-paced styles. But my works are not made only for those who are interested. No matter who they collaborate with, artists need to have their own things going on. The rest of it will be taken care of by the galleries. There is no need for the artists to be involved in marketing. Art takes on its own destiny when once it’s created. Outstanding artists never need to please their clients’ personal tastes and follow marketing trends.

Lydia Duanmu:

和不同的画廊合作时,您会考虑根据当地的市场情况而调整作品形式吗?

Ji Zhou:

总的来说欧洲的市场比较追求生活化,温和有品味。美国市场比较前卫,抢眼和快节奏。但是我的作品不是为谁而做的。不管和谁合作,艺术家把自己的事情做好了,剩下就是画廊的事了。艺术家没有必要去评价市场,作品完成后就有了自己的命运,投其所好必定不是好的艺术家。

Lydia Duanmu:

What do you think about photography in China’s collection market?

Ji Zhou:

As early as a decade ago, Wendi Deng collected my “scaffolding” series. When people appreciate the artistic value of an art piece, the medium of the piece is no longer important. The point is more about Chinese people’s appreciation of these artistic values. China’s photography collection market has not yet arrived, but I believe it soon will.

Lydia Duanmu:

您怎么看待摄影作品在中国的收藏市场?

Ji Zhou:

早在十几年前,邓文迪就收藏了我的脚手架系列,意识到艺术的价值时,形式已经不重要了,关键是中国人对艺术价值的认识。中国的摄影收藏市场还没有到来,但是不远了,不需要等很久。