The acclaimed photography duo BIRDHEAD present a new series of work in Singapore.
Until 22 January 2016, ShanghART in Singapore features new commissions by the photography duo, inviting audiences to immerse themselves in BIRDHEAD’s world.
ShanghART in Singapore is holding “Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again”, a solo exhibition by Chinese photography duo BIRDHEAD, including new works commissioned and mounted especially for the show.
This exhibition is the result of the first in a series of Southeast Asia residencies made possible by ShanghART with the support of the National Arts Council (NAC) and the Economic Development Board of Singapore (EDB). The residencies aim to explore the potential of Singapore as a site for artistic practice and inspiration, in addition to its status as a hub for art exhibition and business.
Song Tao (b. 1979) and Ji Weiyu (b. 1980) established BIRDHEAD in 2004, and have been working with analogue photography ever since. Their aleatoric moniker was borne of a computer prompt. The prolific duo has since their founding assembled a huge body of work, shooting around 15,000 photographs a year and constantly experimenting with analogue photography, collage techniques and other mixed media.
BIRDHEAD have exhibited extensively in museums and galleries worldwide, their work is part of important permanent collections, such as London’s Tate Modern, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Guy & Myriam Ullens Foundation in Switzerland. BIRDHEAD were also nominated for the inaugural Hugo Boss Asia Art Award in 2013. ShanghART presented BIRDHEAD’s first solo exhibition in 2005.
BIRDHEAD have a unique documentary approach, which entails capturing a large volume of photographs with a broad range of subjects, including diaristic snapshots of their daily lives, activities and travels. Each collection of photographs is processed, arranged and mounted to form a “BIRDHEAD World”. Their distinctive semiotic is evident in the arrangement and presentation of their images, presented as matrices, tiled or assembled in collages of new and traditional images and poetry.
The new series of work on show at ShanghART is yet another expansion of their “BIRDHEAD World”, this time to Southeast Asia, and draws inspiration from the landscapes, places and people encountered during the duo’s travels around the region in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Singapore. The photographs capture the artists’ encounters with landscapes and subjects that are foreign to them in real time.
More than just a document of their first encounters with Southeast Asia, the new series is a document of an interior journey, a form of exploration of the self. As ShanghART writes,
The final works are results not only of geography, but also of the reflection, introspection and absorption of these experiences and images into “BIRDHEAD World.”
In addition, BIRDHEAD have also created a performance art collaboration with filmmaker-turned-chef Chayuti Janrakangtong (Papacurry) from Chiang Mai, one of the friends Song Tao met on his travels. This programme will take place on 13 January 2017, 5-8 pm in conjunction with Singapore Art Week 2017.
“Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again” runs from 9 December 2016 to 22 January 2017 at ShanghART Gallery, Singapore.
- 5 exhibitions to see in London this Christmas 2016 – December 2016 – from Ai Weiwei to Dayanita Singh and start architect Zaha Hadid, London offers some unmissable shows this December
- New York Out of Character: Chinese artist Cheng Ran at New Museum, New York – December 2016 – emerging Chinese artist Cheng Ran debuts in the United States with a museum solo exhibition at the New Museum in collaboration with China’s K11 Art Foundation
- PROVOKE: Japanese photography between protest and performance 1960-1975 – in pictures – December 2016 – a touring exhibition looks at the work of postwar Japanese photographers and members of the historic Provoke magazine
- “Before | During | After”: Hong Kong artist, architect and collector William Lim – in conversation – November 2016 – influential Hong Kong collector William Lim speaks about his artistic practice, his multifaceted persona, his collecting philosophy and the artist’s “spirit”
- Hong Kong through a window: conceptual artist Luke Ching at Gallery Exit – in pictures – October 2016 – Art Radar takes a look at some of the works included in the exhibition “For now we see through a window, dimly” by Hong Kong artist Luke Ching at Gallery EXIT
Subscribe to Art Radar for more on photography form Asia-Pacific and beyond