Lives and Works: Shanghai
BIRDHEAD is an artist collective (Song Tao & Ji Weiyu) whose oeuvre consists of photographic images of everyday life in their native city of Shanghai. The snap-shot aesthetic of their extensive and accumulative photo-series (black and white as well as color) delivers a subjective and organic take on today's urban reality.
"I often feel that November is a boy with his trouser pockets filled with roasted chestnut, wearing a thin shirt in the chilly wind, and walking aggressively and bravely. A long time ago, before Starbucks, McDonald's and Dolby-surrounding cinemas, in numerous sunny November days, the idle boys had to wander in groups across the streets, fiercely and energetically. And seemingly, our Shanghai grows in their wandering and repeated stare. The dark-green scaffolds are removed and mounted; the cement columns of the viaducts silently form the shade over our heads; large landscape expands across the old houses that have once witnessed our birth; during typhoon season, the ferry dock trembles in Huangpu River; at midnight, earthwork trucks run across the void roads. Tank cars, Roses, Ruins, Fountains, Fireworks. It takes too long and the night is looming. They almost cross the entire Shanghai, when the columns of the viaducts are occupied by green Boston ivy.
Our hearts are filled with a huge amount of love and sadness.
Afterwards, there are metro and light rail, crossing through Shanghai under the ground or in the sky. Time passes too quickly for us to make a revolutionary posture. No time for questions and hesitation. There's a voice pushing us, following the boy with chestnuts, wandering aggressively and aimlessly, to witness what shadow our Shanghai will create and when the ivy will cover all the roads."
JI Weiyu (1980) and SONG Tao (1979) were both born in Shanghai, where they also reside and work today. The artists graduated from the Shanghai Arts and Crafts School in 2000. Recent exhibitions include: New Photography 2012, MoMA, NewYork, U.S.A.(2012); Reactivation - 9th Shanghai Biennale, Power Station of Art, Shanghai(2012); The 54th Venice Biennale - ILLUMInations, Venice, Italy (2011); China Power Station - part 4, Pinacoteca Agnelli, Torino, Italy (2010); The World of Other's: A Contemporary Art Exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai (2008); China Power Station II, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway (2007). And their solo exhibitions include: Welcome to Birdhead World Again-Beijing 2012, ShanghART Beijing, Beijing(2012); Birdhead: New Village, EX3 Centro per l'arte Contemporanea Firenze, Florence, Italy (2011); Artist File 2011 The NACT Annual Show of Contemporary Art, National Art Center, Tokyo, Japan (2011); Welcome to the World of Birdhead Again-2010, Guangzhou; Lianzhou (2010); Birdhead 2006+2007 Photography Show, BizART, Shanghai (2007).
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