We met Zhou Hongbin in her studio in Xiamen, a charming coastal city. After a Bachelor of Art in Xiamen, she got her Master in CAFA (China Central Academy of Fine Arts), in Beijing.
This young photographer knows how to perfectly capture images of our world to transform it into a fantastic one.
Her first creations and maybe the one that describe the most her specific style is the Aquarium Series, that she created and modified from 2008 to 2014.
Aquarium 1, chromogenic print, 120 x 120, 2008
In that Series, a multitude of rabbits find themselves immersed in the heart of a mysterious aquatic world.
In this strange environment, rabbits symbolize for the artist meekness. Immersed in water, rabbits need to struggle to survive ; as the meekness of humans in suddenly in danger when an important stress occur.
Zhou Hongbin explains : "I travel in a digital-made world, an imaginary collage, where I appear adorable and lovely in a safe, quiet, soft and clean environment. I use public spaces such as swimming pool, fountain, parks and restaurants, and I choose to be represented by familiar pets like my own bunny to create a habitat, similar to a personal garden, utopian and self-centered, where different moments of my own life are fixed and combined in the same picture."
From 2014, her pictures become lighter. Light effects give more realism and more depth to the scene.
Aquarium 24, chromogenic print, 59 x 59, 2014
Aquarium 25, chromogenic print, 59 x 59, 2014
Through her photographs, she often illustrates the threats that surround the life of the human being and the energy that must be able to find in oneself to survive.
In 2014, Zhou Hongbin also embarked in several new projects, as Utopia Series. In these photographic series, she represents each animal of the Chinese Zodiac, accompanied with traditional symbols. One can observe a pine branch, a pile of earth and a snake hidden in the branch.
The pine occupies a place of choice in the Chinese tradition. Always green, whatever the season, it is considered by the Chinese as an emblem of longevity and wisdom. Planted around the tombs, the conifer wards the Wangxiang, an evil creature, devourer of the brain of the deceased lamented.
In her creation, Zhou Hongbin evokes this belief with the snake that seems very interested to the pile of earth, that could be a fresh tomb. With the title Utopia, she questions the traditions. Do we still want to believe in it or do we turn away from it, as the represented animal is doing ?
Utopia 6, chromogenic print, 59 x 59, 2014
She also focused on Still Life. Her concept was to strip the shapes to the maximum. All her Still Life projects are white, as if she wanted to prevent our mind from clinging to any color stereotype.
In Still Life II, threatening objects are trapped behind a white canvas…
Still Life II 1, chromogenic print, 59 x 59, 2016
More recently, she came back to her imaginary world, in which she delivers messages sometimes full of desillusion, sometimes full of hope, but always with an intense poesy.
At the end of the world, cold fairyland, chromogenic print, 78 x 200, 2018
All hard things will fall away II, chromogenic print, 78 x 200, 2018
Zhou Hongbin excels at creating fantasy universes. By a juxtaposition of collage, she multiplies the animals or herself, thus creating a decomposition of movement, a story ...
1978 Born at Zhangzhou, Fujian.
2001 Bachelor of Art à Art College of Xiamen University.
2005 Master of Art, Major in Digital Media, China Central Academy of Fine Arts.
Main Solo Exhibitions
2014 Zhou Hongbin new work, AJC Gallery, Hong Kong
2011 Inward Event, OFOTO Gallery, Shanghai.
2008 Aquarium, Lianhe Douzhen Art Space, Beijing.
2007 Illusion, Hello Art Space, Xiamen.
Main Collective Exhibitions
2016 Half The Sky, Women Artists exhibition, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing
2015 Jimei X Arles International Photo Festival, Xiamen Jimei
Neo-Perception China’s New Generation of Women Artists, Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai
2014 Mai Hami Art Fair, Mai Hami, USA
2013 South Korea Kwangju Art Museum of Beijing creation center open studio Exhibition, Beijing
2012 The concept of reform -- the history of Chinese Contemporary Photography Exhibition, Beijing
Ten years of the new century and Photography Art Exhibition, Beijing
2011 Fantasy, The 3rd Dali International Photography Exhibition, Dali.
PHOTO.L.A. + ART LA PROJECTS 2011, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
2010 Contemporary Artists Exchange Exhibition from China and the Netherlands, Xiamen.
NY Art Exposition, New York, U.S.A.
Open Frame - New landscape Photography from China, YAVUZ Gallery, Singapore.
2009 Beijing 798 at the Xiamen Modern Art Exhibition, Xiamen Art Museum, Xiamen.
2008 Asian Youth Contemporary Art Festival, Heyri Art District, Seoul, Korea.
2007 Post Avant-Garde, Contemporary Art Exhibition, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, Hong Kong.