Photo Gallery: “Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again” at ShanghART, Singapore

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.

“Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again”, 9 December 2016 - 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Invitation image. Image courtesy the artists and ShanghART.

“Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again”, 9 December 2016 – 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Invitation image. Image courtesy the artists and ShanghART.

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.

"Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again", 9 December 2016 - 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

“Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again”, 9 December 2016 – 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

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, photograph with mobile phone during their residency travels in Myanmar. Image courtesy the artists and ShanghART.

BIRDHEAD, photograph with mobile phone during their residency travels in Myanmar. Image courtesy the artists and ShanghART.

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.

BIRDHEAD, "Passions Bloom Ambitions from Vagina" Series, Photograph 1 (of 2 pieces), 2016, gelatin silver print, 142 x 116 cm. Image courtesy the artists and ShanghART.

BIRDHEAD, “Passions Bloom Ambitions from Vagina” Series, Photograph 1 (of 2 pieces), 2016, gelatin silver print, 142 x 116 cm. Image courtesy the artists and ShanghART.

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", 9 December 2016 - 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

“Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again”, 9 December 2016 – 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

"Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again", 9 December 2016 - 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

“Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again”, 9 December 2016 – 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

"Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again", 9 December 2016 - 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

“Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again”, 9 December 2016 – 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

"Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again", 9 December 2016 - 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

“Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again”, 9 December 2016 – 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

BIRDHEAD, photograph with mobile phone during their residency travels in Bagan, Myanmar. Image courtesy the artists and ShanghART.

BIRDHEAD, photograph with mobile phone during their residency travels in Bagan, Myanmar. Image courtesy the artists and ShanghART.

"Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again", 9 December 2016 - 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

“Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again”, 9 December 2016 – 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

"Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again", 9 December 2016 - 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

“Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again”, 9 December 2016 – 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

BIRDHEAD, photograph with mobile phone during their residency travels in Phuo Quoc Island, Vietnam. Image courtesy the artists and ShanghART.

BIRDHEAD, photograph with mobile phone during their residency travels in Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam. Image courtesy the artists and ShanghART.

"Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again", 9 December 2016 - 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

“Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again”, 9 December 2016 – 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

"Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again", 9 December 2016 - 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

“Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again”, 9 December 2016 – 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

BIRDHEAD, photograph with mobile phone during their residency travels in Vietnam. Image courtesy the artists and ShanghART.

BIRDHEAD, photograph with mobile phone during their residency travels in Vietnam. Image courtesy the artists and ShanghART.

"Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again", 9 December 2016 - 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

“Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again”, 9 December 2016 – 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

BIRDHEAD, photograph with mobile phone during their residency travels in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Image courtesy the artists and ShanghART.

BIRDHEAD, photograph with mobile phone during their residency travels in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Image courtesy the artists and ShanghART.

"Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again", 9 December 2016 - 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

“Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again”, 9 December 2016 – 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

"Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again", 9 December 2016 - 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

“Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again”, 9 December 2016 – 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

BIRDHEAD, photograph with mobile phone during their residency travels in Bagan, Myanmar. Image courtesy the artists and ShanghART.

BIRDHEAD, photograph with mobile phone during their residency travels in Bagan, Myanmar. Image courtesy the artists and ShanghART.

"Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again", 9 December 2016 - 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

“Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again”, 9 December 2016 – 22 January 2017, ShanghART Gallery, Singapore. Image courtesy the artists and ShangART.

 

“Welcome to BIRDHEAD World Again” runs from 9 December 2016 to 22 January 2017 at ShanghART Gallery, Singapore.

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Related Topics: Chinese artists, photography, gallery shows, events in Singapore, photo galleries

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