September 19 - November 16, 2002
galerie jerome de noirmont

exhibition release

Yi: a rapidity.
Of decision. Of thought. Of creation.
She rushes.

The first work that she has shown me: a computer broken by a violent lover who had shattered it. "All my work was in it", she moans whilst laughing. Decision: "I will show it like that, damaged, with the work inside." Not bad, already, as artistic insolence.
But, having photographed the object, she imagines making it appear like a new model of computer in packaging newly created for the occasion.
She is like that Yi. Her video "Yo Yo" crackles and blinks with words too rapid to be read. "The war, the assaults, she says, that doesn´t shock anymore. One zaps. One passes to another thing. Up and down. For me, the world is neither hallucinating nor the opposite. There is no order. You mix the cards.”
And the cards Zhou Yi mixes! That blink, that gush, that spin, that switch.
It’s all worth it. Yo Yo.
With her the fall of Communism takes 15 seconds. On video. With a starry red flag and stars that fall prettily. No problem… towers built from a few score of small characters, little by little, crumble in the slowness of a dream…
And then, already, a change, an evolution. Poetic. Drops of water fall randomly in a light-blue monochrome ocean with pre-existant music. A donkey called Puck brays under the wide open sky one summer night.
Zhou Yi is arriving. She is living for the while in France.
She is wildly gifted.
She is just 23.

Michel Nuridsany, Paris, June 2002

Yi ZHOU: a discovery. Presented by Michel Nuridsany at NOIRMONT PROSPECT, this very young Chinese girl will exhibit her works for the first time in a gallery in Paris. Here are four videos directly projected on the walls, and it is all the slightly inventive lightness of a young artist that appears then, poetic and playful. It will be accompanied by few drawings too.

For the moment, Yi ZHOU works and lives in Paris. At 9, she left Shanghai where she was born, she studied fine arts in Rome and political sciences in London, then she helped a few important contemporary European artists before dedicating herself to her personal work. Since then, she comes into the fields of new technologies with ideas, a tremendous talent, videos, some .mov, .swf, .jpg, . mp3, .com…with humour and poetry. Allegro Vivace.

Now, Yi Zhou gives up with the box, the screen, innovates, directly projects on the wall a butterfly, a donkey, herself, a tower. Titles: Jump 2morrow, Puck, Y_Game, 1 Butterfly.

-Jump 2morrow (video transferred on DVD, length: 15 minute loop, edition limited to 3 copies and 1 artist´s proof): A tower constituted of small characters decomposes as the characters throw themselves into emptiness. One may think of a recent event. But nothing dramatic here. When it’s over, it starts again. Indefinitely. Let’s play!

-Puck (video transferred onto DVD, infinite length, edition limited to 3 copies and 1 artist´s proof): Midsummer night’s dream: A donkey namedPuck plays with two girls dancing around him, in a jerky and repetitive movement. A minute part of the wall is dedicated to Puck… "Just a little line with a large airiness above that one finds in Chinese painting: a life reduced to the minimum. And there is this freshness, this speed because all videos are speeded up 8 times normal speed."

-Y_Game (video transferred onto DVD, infinite length, edition limited to 3 copies and 1 artist´s proof): Yi Zhou represents herself like a character of video games, moves and undulates on the wall, she goes and comes back. "False" avatar looking like real ones for a video game that has been emptied of what makes its very essence: the action. A confusion between the reality, the virtual and the mixture of the two plants itself in the spectator´s mind.

-1 Butterfly (video transferred onto DVD, infinite length, edition limited to 3 copies and 1 artist´s proof): A butterfly flutters randomly around stylized flowers. The drawing of the flowers is stationary, drawn black on a white background, it has not been painted but is projected, the butterfly flies delicately, lands, disappears… there is no beginning or end in this endearing video: always the same and yet always different!

Next to these videos, Yi Zhou will also present about fifteen works on paper, done in Chinese ink or pen.