Chinese Portraiture / 12:51 minutes
Artist name: Zhou Hongxiang
Chinese Portraiture is a work presented in a direct and straightforward way. In this conceptual piece, we see one portrait after another of various Chinese people: they either impersonate or enact a prototypical character, or impersonate themselves. We see normal workers, employees, old people, young girls, young men, intellectuals, farmers, but also someone wearing the clothes of the emperor of Qing Dynasty and a monk, a judge, and a beggar. Image after image scrolls before the viewer, like a series of photographs. Each subject looks into the camera, staring back at the viewer, like a photograph that looks back at you. In its form it also refers to an encyclopedia, and to the tradition of Chinese scrolls, thereby connecting the new medium of video to traditional art forms. The work is quiet and still, the viewer watches, waiting for something to happen and over time is captured by the photographs as if he is watching a film.
Zhou Hongxiang was born in 1969 in Dongtai, Jiangsu province,China. He currently lives and works in Shanghai and New York.