The entry hall of the church of the Chiesa Santa Maria Della Visitazione is lined on both sides with giant sketches titled Revelations. 33 empty frames are embedded into the sketches. Over 60 paintings are suspended from the ceiling, dropping like confetti from the universe above, frozen in time and space. A timelapse video of the Tibetan sky over 24 hours is projected onto the dome.
The church’s domed frescoes and the oil paintings in the alcoves form a dialogue with this new media, presenting fragments of life in contemporary China. This is the artistic vision of Zhong Biao, on display from today at his first solo exhibition at the Venice Art Biennale.
Having created a Moleskine Special Edition notebook himself, Biao’s oeuvre is captured on the paperband, which reproduces his most iconic work Mirage 海市蜃楼 - a monumental painting of 400 x 1,800cm. The cover is embossed with a Chinese phrase that expresses the concept of the “Universe of Unreality” as well as the artist’s signature. The notebook acts as a portable blank canvas, a pocket universe to take around and record your own unreality.
“The Universe of Unreality: Zhong Biao’s Visions” questions realities through a critical view of the rapid changes happening in contemporary China. Jarring juxtapositions and spatial manipulation present an intertwined cosmology of unrealized possibilities, lively realities and future developments. With the church as the unique setting for the exhibition, Biao’s work is given further spiritual significance.
Visit the exhibition in Venice until 1st November 2013.