Yi Zhou, Still from "The Ear", 2009

Contrasts Gallery and True Color Museum are proud to present multimedia video works by Paris-based Chinese artist Yi Zhou at True Colour Museum in Suzhou. The Ear: Yi Zhou Video Exhibition will feature seven videos, including Yi’s latest work The Ear, an RED live-action and 3D animation piece, featuring the multi-talented American musician and producer Pharrell Williams, along with other acclaimed works from 2004 to the present. Yi’s works are inspired by literature, mythology and fantasy, combined with Chinese and European cultural influences and new technology. She delves into the worlds of hyper- and neo-realism, bringing fantasy to life through seemingly contradictory elements. Video and installation are Yi’s media of choice with her installations encompassing photography, digital animation, painting, drawings and sculpture, among other art forms.

The Ear is a seven-and-a-half-minute short film inspired by Nikolai Gogol’s short story The Nose (1836) from the Petersburg Tales. Pharrell’s ear develops a life of its own, as the ear and its inner cavity become an “Ear Bridge”. The viewer is taken through a dark, dreamlike journey past fireworks, through black tunnels and endless staircases, finally emerging outdoors and onto a bridge surrounded by beautiful, natural scenery. The last scene reveals Pharrell reading a newspaper with the headline “THE EAR BRIDGE IN BAKU 2013”, referencing an upcoming public project in which Yi is participating. With music by Ennio Morricone and costumes by Rick Owens and BBC Ice cream, the video conjures up a sinister atmosphere while challenging viewers with changes in perspective and unexpected paths. Yi manages to evoke the past, present, and future all at the same time.

Also on show will be My Heart Laid Bare, Yi’s 2008 35mm and 3D animation video, starring French model and actress Charlotte Gainsbourg. The story, with roots in Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron, features a woman experiencing the loss of a lover, eventually releasing his heart into the sea.

Paradise (2006), Yi Zhou’s third animation video, competed in the Sundance Film Festival in 2008. The video was part of Yi’s solo exhibition Three Cantos, Prefiguration: Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso, which featured three videos inspired by Dante projected onto marble slabs in Florence, Italy. Yi creates her own version of paradise in a lively forest full of dragonflies and blooming flowers, accompanied by upbeat traditional Japanese music.

The exhibition will also feature the videos Hear, Earth, Heart (2008), Black And White Moons (2006), About Seana (2005), and One of These Days (2004).


Yi Zhou, Still from "The Ear", 2009

Yi Zhou was born in Shanghai in 1978, but grew up in Hangzhou and Rome. She studied in London and Paris, graduating with a degree in Political Science and Economics before pursuing art full-time. She has held solo exhibitions at Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris and Ooi Botos Gallery, Hong Kong, along with live art performances at Deitch Projects, New York.


Yi Zhou, Still from "The Ear", 2009