Shanghai’s Birdhead combines poetry and photography for first London exhibition

CHINESE CONTEMPORARY ART URBAN LIFE

Paradise Row gallery in London is currently running a show of new work by Shanghai-based photography duo Birdhead. The exhibition, entitled, “Welcome to Birdhead World Again, London” will feature a site specific installation. It runs from 9 March to 7 April 2012.

Birdhead, 'Untitled', 2011, cellulose black and white print. Image courtesy of Paradise Row, copyright Birdhead.

“Welcome to Birdhead World Again, London”, curated by Asia Art Forum founder Pippa Dennis, is the first Birdhead solo show in London. The exhibition documents life in Shanghai as seen by the two young artists. The photographs often show their close friends and surroundings, seeking out moments of subtle significance that, taken together in the dense installation, weave a portrait of urban life in China, a “visual stream of consciousness”. Their artwork captures the enormity and complexity of modern life.

I think that Birdhead are producing some of the most important photography in China at this moment. Creatively they are working towards something very new as they increasingly blur the boundaries between the viewer and the viewed. Meanwhile the subject of their work, their daily life in Shanghai, sets up their work as a key historic document, both social and cultural. I am looking forward to seeing how their practice develops next.

Pippa Dennis, curator

Birdhead, 'Untitled', 2011, cellulose black and white print. Image courtesy of Paradise Row, copyright Birdhead.

Birdhead, 'Untitled', 2011, cellulose black and white print. Image courtesy of Paradise Row, copyright Birdhead.

For the exhibition, the artists also created a site-specific installation piece that incorporates the Song Dynasty poet Xin Qiji’s classical poem, “Youth Does Not Know How Sorrow Tastes”. The poem is a meditation on age, emotion and inspiration, complementing Birdhead’s emphasis on the personal experience of Shanghai residents and how that speaks to their own practice.

Birdhead, 'Untitled', 2011, cellulose print. An image of the bamboo-like sculptural installation containing the poem, "Youth Does Not Know how Sorrow Tastes" by Xin Qiji. Image courtesy of Paradise Row, copyright Birdhead.

Birdhead, 'Untitled', 2011, cellulose black and white print. Image courtesy of Paradise Row, copyright Birdhead.

Birdhead, 'Untitled', 2011, cellulose black and white print. Image courtesy of Paradise Row, copyright Birdhead.

Birdhead, 'Untitled', 2011, cellulose black and white print. Image courtesy of Paradise Row, copyright Birdhead.

Birdhead, 'Untitled', 2011, cellulose black and white print. Image courtesy of Paradise Row, copyright Birdhead.

Birdhead, installation view of "Welcome to Birdhead World Again, London". Image courtesy of Paradise Row, copyright Birdhead.

Birdhead, installation view of "Welcome to Birdhead World Again, London". Image courtesy of Paradise Row, copyright Birdhead.

Birdhead is a photography duo from Shanghai, China. Composed of artists Ji Weiyu (b. 1980) and Song Tao (b. 1979), both graduates of the Shanghai Arts and Crafts School, they have been operating under the Birdhead name since 2004. They have previously had solo exhibitions in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tokyo and Florence. They were also one of two contemporary Chinese artists asked to participate in the 2011 Venice Biennale’s central international exhibition, ILLUMInations. They are represented by ShanghArt Gallery in Shanghai.

PR/HH

Related Topics: Chinese artists, art in London, photography, urban art

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Shanghai’s Birdhead combines poetry and photography for first London exhibition — 1 Comment

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