Since Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month in the Chinese calendar, Chinese Valentine’s day has been celebrated. In Chinese mythology Zhinu, a weaver girl, and Niulang, a cowherd, fell deeply in love – but their relationship was forbidden and they were banished to opposite sides of the Silver River, or the Milky Way. Feeling sad for these quite literally star-crossed lovers a flock of magpies would form a bridge to reunite the lovers for one day every year. This year the day falls on Tuesday 9 August.
Join us as we celebrate the long distance love theme of Chinese Valentine’s Day.
Introducing Distance Between, a 3-channel HD video installation by artist Xiaowen Zhu
DISTANCE BETWEEN is a 3-channel video installation ostensibly on the topic of long-distance relationships, as referred to romantic relationships between people who are separated by considerable distance. The interviews, filmed with 6 subjects, recount individual stories as confessions, beginning with the innocent excitement of growing intimacy through simple means of text messages and phone calls, to the complexity of Skype, examining the inherent properties of the medium.
The project begins by interviewing couples involved in long distance romantic relationships, focusing on particular traits and benefits of a mediated and technologically enabled exchange. Taking this source material, the artist mixes spontaneous interviews with reenactments by 6 subjects based on quotes taken from actual interviews. The material was then re-configured and re-contextualized by the artist. Using staged scenarios, designed stenography and cinematography, the piece encourages the viewer to re-examine their notions of the Documentary Interview and to ponder the boundary between fact and fiction. “Long-distance relationships” is used as a subject to open a discourse about self-identification, individual perception of home and travel, personal value of family and marriage, ideology of life and understandings of the issues of love and trust.
Fri 5 August 15:00-19:00
Sat 6 August 15:00-19:00
Sun 7 August CLOSED
Mon 8 August 15:00-19:00
Tue 9 August 15:00-19:00
About the Artist
Xiaowen Zhu is a London-based documentary filmmaker and media artist. Described as a visual poet, social critic, and aesthetic researcher, she uses video, photography, performance, installation and mixed media as platforms to communicate the complex experience of being an international person and to wrestle with the notion of a disembodied identity.
Zhu has received numerous awards, including Jury Award of DOK Munich, Jury Award of Mexico International Film Festival, the TASML Artist Residency Award and Marylyn Ginsburg Klaus Post-MFA Fellowship. She was an artist-in-residence at ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany and V2_Institute for the Unstable Media, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She is a mentor of the British Film Institute Film Academy, a member of the Los Angeles Art Association, and formerly a Visiting Professor of Media Art at Syracuse University and Marymount College in USA. Zhu received her MFA in Art Video from Syracuse University, USA and BA in Film, TV Production & Media Art from Tongji University, China.
Zhu’s work has been shown widely shown internationally, including Whitechapel Gallery (London, UK), Whitstable Biennale (Whitstable, UK), Sheffield Fringe (Sheffield, UK), Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum (Beijing China), Chronus Art Center (Shanghai, China), Art Basel Hongkong, ZKM | Center for Art and Media (Karlsruhe, Germany), V2_Institute for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), ISEA2011 (Istanbul, Turkey), Dumbo Arts Center (New York, USA), Videonale (Berlin, Germany), Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, USA), Los Angeles Art Association (Los Angeles, USA), Venice Arts Gallery (Los Angeles, USA), Strozzina Art Space (Florence,Italy), Sainsbury Center for Visual Arts (Norwich, UK), Toronto Urban Film Festival (Toronto, Canada), DOK Munich (Munich, Germany), Film Winter (Stuttgart, Germany), Athens Video Art Festival (Athens, Greece), and more.