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Zhu Jia

Author: Huang Du 1998-09-18

Zhu Jia finds instant art in everyday life, a discovery which reveals understanding and something humanitarian. More importantly, his works demonstrate wisdom and humour. For example, Did they have sex?, 1995, (50 black and white photographs) and the video works, Open, Open again, 1996 and Related to Environment, 1997 express the artist's deep and tender acknowledgement of the relationship between art and life.

Did they have sex? uses photographs to record different people's attitudes towards sex. The question is expressed so abruptly that it invades both personal and private space. Zhu thus analyses sexual concepts from the perspective of culture, through the relationship of falsehood and truth in daily life.

In Zhu's Open, Open again a video camera is placed in a refrigerator. Different people open and close the refrigerator door and the action is recorded. This experience becomes a universal expression of the everyday reflecting different people's behaviour and habits. Zhu's artistic language explains the double meanings of simple things in life, namely, in and out, silent and active. Also, it foils thoughtful human actions with passive mechanical behaviour.

Another of Zhu's video installations, Related to Environment, depicts a fish out of water in order to examine human psychology, especially through viewer reaction. Furthermore, this work gives special place to the relation between time and duration, life and death, in a visual parable that is more affecting than a literary account could be. The artistic power is demonstrated in the tension expressed rather than in its subject matter. An implied reference to sensitive environmental problems is also typical of this artist.

From "Every Day", by Jonathan Watkins, pulished by the Biennale of Sydney Ltd., Page:236  

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