The far flung mountains of Kulun, in Southwestern China, have long been the subject of myth and legend. Fabled in Chinese popular culture to be the home of deities, fenghuang (phoenixes) and the most extraordinary flora and fauna, the Kulun mountains have long been a place of the strange and the sublime.
In Langgan Meng Zhou shunts Kulun into the deep future, a future in which the bestial and the beautiful, the sacred and the profane, the celestial and the terrestrial, the organic and the technological, the conscious and the unconscious meet, dance, tussle, pollute, contaminate, bend into one another and eventually make peace with each other. An exercise in philosophical obsolescence these mythical-mutants took root in the dynasties of Zhou and Han and are flourishing into a techno-biological future.
The Langgan trees sprouting here are the result of an extraordinary and unexpected evolution, an evolution driven by cultural symbolic fusion, organic elemental amalgamation and data mitosis. The symbolic elements of their composition suggest that they exist somewhere between life and death, between myth and reality, between digital and material. An explanation for their appearance here cannot be given although it is thought that they may have arrived upon a cloud.
It is believed that an exegetical process similar to dream-work could be employed to better understand the manifest elements of their composition but this should be only initiated with caution.
School of Arts & Humanities
MA Contemporary Art Practice, 2018
+44 (0) 7903202640
At the heart of Meng Zhou’s work is a conversation between tradition and modernity. Through painting, sculpture and installation he attempts to merge and to transform classical Chinese symbolism and imagery using Western styles and techniques. His artistic project draws on poetic analogies of Chinese cultural history and myth that help to narrate his work.
Although his work may seem figurative in parts his subjects are always borne out of ﬁction, composites drawn from a combination of dreamscapes, collected images and anatomical research. Through his paintings Meng is interested specifically in the oscillation between figuration and abstract gesture and drawing out the specific moment when comprehensible figures or forms immerge from amorphous mass.
Meng’s cinematic oeuvre runs parallel to his painting and sculpture. The material immediacy of the camera allows his work to document and explore single incidents and narrates stories that hover between disconcerting dreams and reality.
- BA Painting, Camberwell College of Arts, 2016; Fashion Design, Pratt Institute, 2013
- Solo: Defibrillation, United Art Museum, Wuhan, 2018; Overtone, Art Night & Whitechapel Gallery, St George in the East, 2017; 0.064g, OXO Tower Gallery, London, 2016; Loner, Art Space Bund 22, Shanghai, 2015; Soapbox, Close-up Cinema, London, 2018; Totem and Taboo, Chelsea Arts Club, London, 2018; EO VI, Axisweb Streetplayer, England, 2018; Untitled, Artrooms, the Meliã White House, London, 2018; Anonym, Florence Biennale, Fortezza da Basso – Padiglione Spadolini Florence, 2017; Super Young Finalist, Celeste Prize, Bargehouse, London, 2017; VVS1, The Moon in the Mirror, PARTIA at Aintree University Hospital NHS Trust, Liverpool, 2017; Core, Animotion, StrangeLove Festival, Folkestone, 2017; WIP, Royal College of Art, London, 2017; 20th National Open Art Winners' Exhibition, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, 2016; In/Out, Camberwell Summer Show, Camberwell College of Art, London, 2016; Mr Lei Rain Rain Rain, National Open Art, Mercer's Hall, London, 2016; Landscape, Young Arts Academy Curates, Barbican Center, London, 2016; Kynam, UNIT, Dilston Grove&cafe Gallery, London, 2015
- Super Young Prize, Celeste Art Prize, 2017; Cill Rialaig Residency Award, National Open Art, 2016
- Loner, by Meng Zhou, China Academy of Art Press, 2015; Deconstructed Flow, by Meng Zhou, China Academy of Art Press, 2018