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2017.09.09 Sat - 2017.10.22 Sun
Opening Exhibition
上海市徐汇区安福路298弄2号楼底楼 Building 2, Lane 298 Anfu Lu, Shanghai 200031
Opening Hours
Opening Hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10:30am - 6:30pm
Mathieu Borysevicz

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‘Flown Away Is the Gold of Days’
Works from “Towards Evenings: Six Chapters”
BANK, Shanghai
[Press Release]

BANK is proud to present Chen Zhe’s Flown Away Is the Gold of Days – Works from “Towards Evenings: Six Chapters”, the artist’s first show at the gallery. Chen’s international notoriety stems from her epic series Bees & The Bearable, which posited photography as a catalyst for examining the psychology of self-abuse. In Towards Evenings: Six Chapters the artist attempts to materialize her long fascination with the complex and transient experiences of “dusk” through many different forms including photography, video, installation, objects, and texts. Towards Evenings: Six Chapters is a journey in search of the nebulous space between day and night, light and twilight, the known and unknown. For over five years the artist probed literature and visual clues throughout history and across cultures that evinced this magic hour’s profound effect upon the human psyche.


The series is divided into six independent chapters of which BANK will present selections from the first three chapters including “The Uneven Time”, “Nightfall Disquiet”, and “The Red Cocoon”. Three of the latest excerpts will be revealed to the public for the first time including “The Only Question is How to Endure”, whereby the artist explores four possibilities of experiencing dusk through a collection of images and found documents displayed upon four black shelf apparatus’ – a cabinet of curiosities of sorts – that are accompanied by literary texts. In these works the artist aims to examine different relations and connotations between texts and visuals through a process of re-contextualizing sources within new spatial milieus. These cabinets become self-referential systems of knowledge that illuminate myriad evocations of the twilight hour.

The other two new works in the exhibition are subchapters of the second chapter “Nightfall Disquiet”. “891 Dusks: An Encyclopedia of Psychological Experiences” presents the artist’s research on widespread “evening uneasiness” in a reference book that categorizes and conceptualizes “disquiet” through hundreds of psycho-poetic entries. This encyclopedia is manifest in the book, which is a customized appropriation of “New Comprehensive Homoeopathic Materia Medica of Mind”, which is open for the viewer to read, and is accompanied by a video and sound piece. “Entre Chien et Loup (The Hour Between Dog and Wolf)” further expounds this “disquiet” through iterations of dusk in French literature. “Entre chien et loup” is the French interpretation of dusk which literally translates into “between dog and wolf” or the hour in which the identity of a dog and wolf are obscured, indicates one’s loss of perception and judgment during eventide. Departing from this phrase, the artist refined seven sets of coexisting-yet-conflicting concepts from literary resources and transcribed them onto huge terrazzo slates. These stone plinths recall an era of classicism when the indeterminate space between LIGHT and TWILIGHT, HOPE and FEAR, BEING and SHADOW confounded and bewitched us, as it still continues to do so today.

Chen Zhe (b.1989) is the recipient of the Three Shadows Award (2011), Inge Morath Award from the Magnum Foundation (2011), Lianzhou Festival Photographer of the Year Award (2012) and the Xitek New Talent Award (2015). Her works have been the subject of exhibitions at the CAFA Art Museum, Beijing (2017); Power Station of Art, Shanghai (2016); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2013); and Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Beijing. Her publication Bees & The Bearable was awarded the Best Photobook of the Year by Kassel Fotobookfestival in 2016.