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Show RCA 2019

Zilu Cai

Show RCA work

Major project:

No ELEPHANT in This Room

The white door with 23 doorknobs, where only one doorknob can open the door. I designed the 23 doorknobs into a sophisticated mechanism. All door handles are electronic and ultimately executed by the lock tongue. Whenever the door is opened, the correct doorknob changes. The door is an invitation, a welcome gesture. However, it also serves as a block, a defensive mechanism. It is both a defence mechanism and a temptation.


  • In this generation of exhibitionist, everyone has a part that he/she wants to let people see. All human beings are, simultaneously, seeing and being seen; observers and objects.

    My work constantly negotiates what is located between privacy and human rights, as seen in the social context, aiming to present what privacy truly is to the viewers. I utilise art as a mean to investigate what privacy means to humanity. In my work, privacy is expressed as a behaviour, an attitude, a process, a goal, a phenomenal state and an unknown answer. I explore the uncanny relationship between the watched and the watching, deliberately crossing lines between privacy and propriety. My work aims to put viewers in the role of a ‘Peeping Tom’, allowing them to choose whether they collude or resist.

  • Experiences

  • Artist's assistant, Hongmin Sun Studio, Guangzhou, 2015–16; Art teacher, Guangzhou No.5 Middle School, Canton, 2016–17; Gallery assistant, DANTZIG Gallery, Oxford, 2018; Events Coordinator, Guangzhou Opera House, 2016; Museum Workshop Coordinator, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, 2016; Residency, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, 2017; Visiting lecturer, Camberwell College of Arts, London, 2018; Volunteer teacher, Rabat Local Public School, Morocco, 2018; Leather product designer, KHIMUKI Trading Company Ltd, 2017–present
  • Exhibitions

  • 'A World in Vertigo', Brunel Museum, RCA Degree Show 2019, London, 2019; 'Double Helix', Safehouse 2, London, 2016; '48 Hours', Contemporary Collective, London, 2016; Fact Factor Factory, KRUX, Amsterdam, 2016; 'Exchange of Spaces', Camden Arts Centre, London, 2017; 'Kitschen', IKLECTIK, London, 2017; XU Qinsong Foundation Show, Canton Shower, Guangzhou, 2017; 'Double Pelican', Dyson Gallery, London, 2017; 'Red Room', South Kiosk Gallery, London, 2017; 'Dimensions of Time', Crypt Gallery, London, 2017; Creekside Open 2017, APT Gallery, London, 2017; 2018 Open Exhibition, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, 2018; 'No Title', QUAD, Derby, 2018; Work-in-progress Show, Sculpture Building, RCA, London, 2018; 'Sculpture I II III' Performance, Hockney Gallery, London, 2018
Royal College of Art