April 22 - June 11, 2023
Osthaus Museum Hagen (Hagen, Germany)
Artwork © Zhou Song. Photo: Osthaus Museum Hagen
The Osthaus Museum Hagen will exhibit works by Zhou Song in the Folkwang-Altbau in 2023. Zhou Song is an internationally acclaimed, immensely innovative artist. In his three series created so far, the artist processes very different pictorial worlds, which on the one hand appear realistic, and later are hyper-realistically overformed to finally form a completely new reality. His investigations into the role of art in our time, which is defined more by uncertainty than by its opposite, reveals on the one hand a preference for technical structures, on the other hand this love is fed by a deep knowledge of philosophical contemplation. Past, present, and future are repeatedly brought into a specific relationship in Zhou Song's world of thought. Ultimately, philosophy has the claim to penetrate beyond worldly things into the inner of our beingness - no matter whether this is formed in an eastern or western way. It is the origins, underlying structures, and evolution of humanity as well as the universe as a whole that help shape the art of this restless mind of Zhou Song - beyond the banal everyday, beyond politics and its inner turmoil. At the Osthaus Museum Hagen, the central theme is painting, and here Zhou Song's interest coincides with our focus. His excursions into the art of watercolor, sculpture, or three-dimensional objects in general enrich the central medium. What can be observed in his art is an abundantly clear mastery of drawing technique, as well as his strict and sovereign control over the principles of design. The diverse series, which display a magnificent spectrum, namely: leading from the exploration of the self (Red Field), to the existence of the universe (Entropy), to the reflection on our living conditions in the real world (Inflating) are comprehensively anthropological. This, of course, includes Zhou Song's penchant for the symbolic. The German scientist and man of letters, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe conceived symbol as an exclusive force that was able to represent the general in the particular. In a broader sense from today's perspective, Zhou Song seeks this kind of transformation in his art: thoughts enter the artwork and are formed into a specific entity there.