Marymount College Arts & Media Division’s Arcade Gallery is proud to present THERE IS NO WHY, the first solo exhibition by Syracuse University Post-MFA Fellow and emerging artist Xiaowen Zhu. The Syracuse University Ginsburg Fellowship is an annual award presented to exceptional young artists, and Xiaowen Zhu is its first ever recipient.
The exhibition features videos spanning five countries and three continents, created over the past four years. The content ranges from performance,highly manipulated abstraction, interpretive narrative, and experimental documentary. In these works Zhu communicates the complicated experience of being an international artist. She asks if the concept of home is possible outside of the geographical context, and wrestles with the notion of a disembodied identity. Zhu accomplishes this by invoking the destabilizing and reality-shifting laws of the internet: a space without time or physicality.
The exhibition includes:
DISTANCE BETWEEN – a 3-channel video ostensibly on the topic of long-distance relationships, which is used as a subject to open a discourse about self-identification, individual perception of home and travel, personal value of family and marriage, ideology of life and understandings of the issues of love and trust
Wearable Urban Routine – a performance gesture designed to transform the routine of urban life into a meditative process of self-discovery via ancient Japanese monk meditation rituals
40+4 Art Is Not Enough! Not Enough! – a collaborative project with Davide Quadrio and Lothar Spree, reflecting on the philosophical and political voice of contemporary Chinese artists
Carousel Travel – a story of global travel and discovering loneliness
Gekochter Schnee / Cooked Snow – how to cook a German egg.
Performance image of Wearable Urban Routine, photography by Jan Misker
“I believe that in the matrix of worldly phenomenon and personal experience, there exists some fundamental truth that may explain the puzzle if we choose to look at things in an alternative way. Therefore, it is my goal to represent the different angle without actually telling the truth that I think is true.”
Xiaowen Zhu (b.1986, Shanghai, China) is a media artist with a primary focus on video. She uses the medium to explore her interest in the change of personal perception in a global nomadic context. Most of her works deal with the motivation and reflection of going/existing elsewhere and the in-between space of a culturally complex environment. She is described as a visual poet, social critic, and aesthetic researcher. The questions presented are often raised not only from her own experience as an international traveler, but also from her observation and reflection as a critical thinker and an active communicator.
Currently, Xiaowen Zhu teaches for the Division of Arts & Media in Marymount College. She received her MFA in Art Video from Syracuse University, USA and BA in Film, TV & Media Arts from Tongji University, China. During her undergraduate study, she attended an exchange program at the Academy of Art and Design Offenbach in Germany.
Zhu’s works have been shown at Dumbo Arts Center (New York, USA), ZKM | Center for Art and Media (Karlsruhe, Germany), V2_Institute for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), ISEA2011 (Istanbul, Turkey), Videonale (Berlin, Germany), Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, USA), Strozzina Art Space (Florence,Italy), Sainsbury Center for Visual Arts (Norwich, UK), Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse, USA), Shanghai eArts Festival(Shanghai, China), Toronto Urban Film Festival (Toronto, Canada), DOK Munich (Munich, Germany), Athens Video Art Festival (Athens, Greece) and more.
About Arcade Gallery
The Arcade Gallery, located in historic downtown San Pedro Arts and Entertainment District, the Port of Los Angeles, is a fixed exhibition venue of Marymount College. It offers students fully equipped facilities to exhibit their work in a variety of media. Dedicated to the connection between art and education, the gallery also presents work from celebrated and emerging artists, curated by either faculty or students of the Division of Arts & Media at Marymount College.
For Further Information
Matthew Ennis, Co-Gallery Manager
Xiaowen Zhu, Co-Gallery Manager
Blue Wade, Chair of Arts & Media Division