Zhou Siwei

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    • Painting in the Time of Technophoria – On Zhou Siwei’s art practice and his latest solo exhibition “New Phone for Every Week”

      What does an ordinary day look like for most us nowadays? You are likely to reach for your mobile phone before your mind is fully turned on. Your home screen, filled with notifications from last night while you slept, shines brighter than your serenading alarm. You get ready, and rush to the nearest subway station. With a swipe of your e-wallet on your phone, you hop on the subway while the transit fare is instantly deducted from your bank account. For that matter, you can hardly remember the last time you saw paper money. On your commute to work, you shuffle between the multiple messenger apps and social media platforms to catch up with the “world.” If time allows, you indulge in a few video clips on YouTube or even try to level up with your teammates in the “Honor of Kings.” Meanwhile, infomercials moving along subway cart windows with a few occasional glitches, as if the underground tunnels have built-in screens that stretch from one station to the next, compete for your attention. But you have long been indifferent, or even desensitized to advertisements, be they in motion, looped, or still. Once you get to work, whatever your job may be, it’s likely you operate on some kind of monitor, if not on multiples. Your proficiency in all of the devices at work is has become your second nature, which does not require any forethought. And, by the time you get off work, the city’s nocturnal atmosphere revels on with artificial stimuli that keep all of your sensory responses alive. Although you might not be able to identify the great dipper, but the night sky lusters with a constellation of hundreds of drones into silhouettes of images, glyph, or even propaganda slogans that are easier for you to recognize than the stars. The high-rise buildings and menacing towers, key players of the urban jungle in the daytime, contending for a city’s skyline, have now turned into plugged monoliths, on which infomercials roll on in endless syncopation. Well, you get the picture. In fact, a verbal narrative, or a single image would not suffice to portray our daily routine, and perhaps the reception of such narratives string together faster into a mental video clip than it’s told……

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