Solo exhibition of Yi Zhang | Curated by Yan Chao
December 1-9, 2023 At Centrala, Unit 4 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley St, Birmingham B5 5RT
Fall off is Yi Zhang’s first solo exhibition in the UK. The exhibition will debut Zhang’s most recent artworks related to her working experience at a wig factory, including video, and installation. This exhibition will take inspiration from her interest in social and working relationships that are under high-commerce-concentrated global pressure, and friendship among female workers in a factory that is seeking efficiency and speed. Fall off will unfold in scenes designed to place visitors into the rural factories that drive urban development.
For this project, Yi Zhang went to Xuchang for a month. Although Xuchang is a small village in Henan Province. It is in fact the world's largest wig manufacturer. At the factory where Yi worked, the hair, as a supply, comes from India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. It undergoes acid treatment and high-temperature processing. The processed hair is sent to North Korea for hand-weaving and then sent back to China for secondary processing. Dark-skin models are hired to take promotional pictures, and they find influencers from the black community to market the products. These products are packaged to represent entirely different cultures and are sold in the United States and Europe.
Yi Zhang’s works revolve around the relationships between female factory workers in rural China. All these women are married. As their husbands work in big cities, these women stay in the town to work and take care of their children and elders. They call each other ‘sisters,’ and continuously play romantic dramas during work for spiritual relaxation. As the audience engages with the artworks in Fall off, they will be invited to explore the journey of hair manufacturing.
Fall off indicates hair, and hair holds significant cultural importance in Chinese culture. In traditional Chinese culture, our hair, skin and body are given by our parents. Therefore, hair connects people to their own lineage and ancestors. At the heart of Fall off, lies Zhang’s understanding and commitment between women to women. This vision is realised through Zhang’s artistic and romantic expression, just as both women and hair are flexible and powerful at the same time.
张逸个展 | 策展人: 严超
2023年十二月 1-9日 ，英国，伯明翰 Centrala: Unit 4 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley St, Birmingham B5 5RT
Fall off 是张逸在英国的首次个展。本次展览将展出张逸在河南许昌的一个假发工厂工作一个月的新的创作。本次展览也秉持着她一贯对于当下全球高度商业集中的压力的思考与批判。通过在亲身在工厂打工的一个月，她观察并记录着当地女工之前在高压下的友谊。即便是在效率第一的高压工作环境中，女工们之间的关系也超越了普通的工作伙伴。为此，Fall off 也将带给每一位观众在城市与工厂的互动体验。
Fall off 在英文里有脱落的意思，而脱落也指代头发。头发在中国文化中具有重要的意义。“身体发肤，受之父母”。因此，通过头发，我们与我们祖先有着同样的血脉。Fall off的核心，是张逸对女性的理解和包容。张逸也通过她艺术与浪漫的表达，来讲述女人与头发同样柔软又坚强的关系。