White Cube Hong Kong presents an installation by Chen Zhou. Chen’s recent work, Blue Hole (2018) explores the contemporary psyche, addressing the loneliness and alienation of a world almost totally dominated by social media.
Projected in four-channel HD digital, it features a female protagonist lost inside a blue cave, her mobile phone providing the only connection to the outside world. Two other young girls search for a friend lost in a forest, while they discuss the loneliness they experience in the virtual world. Their search stirs up childhood memories, taking them back to an earlier time when, although their paths had crossed, they had been unable to recognise each other’s faces.
Blue Hole describes a world where we are all connected and disconnected at the same time, exposing how the small space between the real and the virtual world remains the only place where alienation can be kept at bay. The ubiquitous social media network is mistakenly seen as a haven within our reach, our phones a ‘hole’ that beckon with the faint glow of a blue light. Chen suggests that beneath our modern exterior we are all simply restless, isolated souls attempting to express our feelings and signaling for help via electronic gadgets. Blue Hole draws inspiration from social media platforms, in particular a public WeChat account that the artist came across which records the dreams and thoughts of a Millennial teenage girl.
Chen Zhou (b.1987, China) lives and work in Shanghai. His first work, Life Imitation (2017), received the ‘New: Vision Award’ at the CPH:DOX Film Festival and the ‘Asian Perspective Award’ at DMZ film festival and has been included in the Official Selection of 61st BFI London Film Festival. He has exhibited internationally including ‘Emerald City’, chi K11 Art Foundation Pop-up Space, Hong Kong (2018); ‘Cold Nights’, UCCA, Beijing (2017); ‘2nd Asian Film and Video Art Forum (AFVAF)’, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (2017); ‘After Us’, chi K11 Art Museum, Shanghai (2017); ‘28 Chinese – Rubell Family Collection’, Rubell Gallery, Miami (2013); ‘ON|OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept and Practice’, UCCA, Beijing (2013); ‘Unfinished Country: New Video from China’, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2013); and ‘7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale – Accidental Message: Art is not a System, not a World’, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen, China. (2012).all images © the gallery and the artist(s)