Chinese multimedia artist who has lived in Rome from the age of eight and studied between London and Paris with degrees in Political Science and Economics, Yi Zhou is a polyglot artist whose videos have been shown at Shanghai Biennale, Venice Biennale Sundance Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival.

In the past years, Yi Zhou has been endorsing a number of global campaigns ranging from Persol in 2012, DFS T-Galleria in 2015 and Levi’s in 2016. Yi Zhou was named as the first ever artist-ambassador to endorse a beauty brand for China: Clarins, from 2010 to 2011. Loved by luxury brands for her multi-disciplinary range as an artist filmmaker and influencer, since 2011 she has also started collaborations with brands such as Chanel, Hogan, Pringle of Scotland, Lane Crawford, Yoox, Gripoix, Each x Other and Iceberg.

Moving to LA in late 2017, YiZhou has founded YiZhouStudio LA in 2018 as the USA branch as a strategic partner of Cinemoi Network, Royal Yacht. She is currently developing her first feature film as writer and director and plans to invests into Hollywood and Chinese co-prod movies with her new investment company: Into the Sun Investment. YiZhou has also founded a new fashion and lifestyle brand Global Intuition that launched in fall 2018 with a debut at Fred Segal SUNSET window design and party.

YI ZHOU VENICE BIENNALE EXHIBITION INTRODUCTION TEXT

Achille Bonito Oliva

“Art is a hope for happiness,” said Baudelaire. The total art of Yi Zhou is the demonstration of the Chinese artist’s desire to represent the depth and the surface of things, the appearances of the world and the deep pulsations that pass through the human mind. Her work is the fruit of a multimedia language that combines cinema, digital animation, photography, sculpture, painting, drawing and contemporary music. In this way, even through video, the work becomes the ability to represent time in space, to capture the fleeting moments of life in a fragmentary vision that succeeds in capturing the present without forgetting the past, in a dialogue between different cultures, between East and West.  A sophisticated and surprising literary memory enables Yi Zhou to create references to the “Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri, to the “Decameron” by Boccaccio, to the story of Nastagio degli Onesti, and even to recover the comedy of Gogol’s “The Nose”. These references are successfully absorbed by a visual language that grasps the idea of the plot (completely western) interwoven with a flowing concept of circular time (completely oriental). The four films that Yi Zhou presents in Venice document the precocious maturity of a cosmopolitan artist who has explored many cultural and poetic genres that are quite far from one another, such as that of Nam June Paik and Andy Warhol, American cinema and the French Nouvelle Vague, Italian design and Asiatic statue production. These interweaving capacities demonstrate the eroticism of a work that finds the confirmation of an idea of total art in the synthesis of languages. Which means the representation of a value that is very suited to our time, namely the coexistence of differences.

Chang Tsong-zung
The Age of Yi

Yi Zhou embraces the full range of visual and audio experiences available to new media art, she takes on new scientific products, and weaves unabashedly into her work celebrity glamour and cinematic spectacle. We are reminded by Yi that our age is equidistant between Homeric epic and mass media Hollywood, and that we are equally at home with karaoke sentimentality and state-sponsored terror. With the modern alchemy of media technology, the artist can touch any familiar objects with magic, and any present moment can be a moment of adventure.
Yi's fantasies are gilded by a lunar aura, they recede into a mythical distance that constantly wakes up to the fragility of the physical body. She is fascinated by epic tales, to which she responds and imagines as bodily transformation (of heart, ear, head and inner organs). Immersing into herself as the source of adventure, she cracks the present moment to open up an abyss of mythic time. Adolescent innocence and vain glory, cosmic dream and virtual reality, heroic epoch and soap sentiment, Yi has created fresh scope for imagination by bringing all of these on stage.‍