Installation, 2015, Video projection onto relief sculpture
“Cities are alive, and the collective thoughts and dreams of their citizenry constitute a process whose identity is greater than the sum total of its parts”. (Kevin Starr).
“To afar the water flows” reconstructs the city into a high-rise garden utopia, emphasizing a genuine harmony between man-made structures and its natural surroundings. I am influenced by the various architectural styles in Chicago; particularly buildings designed by Louis Sullivan, father of skyscrapers, and his philosophy on the relationship between architecture and nature. I am also influenced by the concept of multiple perspectives and the fourth dimension found in Cubism. In my cubist cityscape, space and time are unfolded on the same sheet of paper, as if we are inside an exceptional piece of architecture and looking through its eyes—the windows—and being able to understand how a building simultaneously “sees” and represents a city.
My installation is inspired by the concept of architectural relief in Sullivan’s work (a technique where the sculpted elements remain attached but raised above the background plane). The projected video is mapped carefully to fit the surface of the relief sculpture. As the viewers approach the work, they will experience a gradual shift in the appearance and depth of the installation from a flat image to a three-dimensional sculpture with protruding geometric shapes. I am using relief sculpture and projection mapping to enhance the framed glimpses of sceneries as well as emphasize the physicality of digital video.
- YUGE ZHOU left her home eight years ago in Beijing, China, where the rapid transformation of the urban landscape dramatically reshaped the city and people’s lives, and came to America to begin her journey—migrating from China to America, and from Beijing to Chicago. Zhou became deeply intrigued by the dynamics and interplay of the built and natural environment—light, clouds, traffic and footsteps, moving objects and spaces. Especially when she is inside an exceptional piece of architecture and looking through its eyes—the windows—she is moved by the pleasure of being at a distance, “seeing the whole,” and being able to understand how a building simultaneously “sees” and represents a city. Zhou’s work originates from a simple desire to make people aware of their surroundings—both the physical and the psychological world they live in. Zhou’s chosen medium of digital video has for her both an actual and physical aspect, while it remains fundamentally immaterial and ephemeral. It is a shape-shifting media that sometimes looks like a painting or a photograph, and at other times functions like science or philosophy. Zhou is influenced by the minimalist approach of structural film, as well as by the harmony and flow of energy in traditional Chinese landscape painting and the concept of multiple perspectives and the fourth dimension found in Cubism. Her cubist treatment of videoed urban landscapes probes the soul of modern cities where the pulse of everyday life and cyclical calm converge. Through its endless repetitions, the city inherits the cycles and transcendence of nature. yugezhou.com
Full text and photo (PDF) p. 295-297