Zhou Jun Development zone No. 3, Digital C - print, 50 x 60 cm; 120 x 150 cm , 2006
We love this new work by Zhou Jun, showing now at Red Gate Gallery in Beijing. Red Gate is an incredible space; we attended an opening there in 2008.
-From the Red Gate press release by Yang Liyu:
“The last thirty years of the Chinese economic miracle has led to unprecedented changes, perhaps the most obvious being the metamorphosis of the numerous Chinese capital cities. At times marveled for their engineering endeavors and glamourous makeovers, these metropolises have equally been the focus of much debate as a result of the demolition of ancient architecture and heritage sites that stood in the way of this transformation. The result is a new modernity that bears testament to the contradictions and contrasts of the new China today.
As a photographer, Zhou Jun seeks to reveal through his unique brand of black and white photography the socio-historical narration of some of these sweeping changes. Like the works of Bernd and Hillar Becher who photographed the abandoned mineshafts and silos in post-war Germany, Zhou Jun is dedicated to immortalizing the icons of China’s architecture in their states of glory, construction and isolation. With a distinct palette of greys, deliberately devoid of strong blacks and whites, Zhou Jun is constantly exploring and redefining with heightened sensitivity this constantly evolving landscape. He constructs a brave new world almost devoid of human existence where imposing buildings dominate and engage with one another. While a Northern Song landscape painting in accordance with Taoist principles pays homage to Nature by reducing the presence of human existence to an insignificant proportion, Zhou Jun creates a contemporary universe where the human condition “kowtows” instead to a concrete jungle that has taken a life of its own.”