zhaoyuefan was born in Wuhan, China and grew up in Beijing, China.
She has been working and living in Germany and Switzerland since 2016.
zhaoyuefan's artistic practice revolves around her experience of living as a legal alien in western countries ("why am I here"). Through video/sound installation, performance, writing, and prints/publishing, she interferes with daily life situations, de-/reconstructs existing objects and found images, digging into their contexts, uses lightness to touch on the visible and invisible boundaries shaped by language, culture, identities and collective memories. Her works are a series of translations, transformations and transpositions based on the transcultural context, leading to reflections on the western cultural hegemony and its profound influence in today's global especially East Asian societies.
2-channel video installation with sound
Bo Lin Ai Yue I 3'13'' 在柏林爱乐放柏林爱乐唱片
Bo Lin Ai Yue II 2'02'' 在柏林爱乐跳柏林爱乐广场舞
"Bó Lín Ài Yuè" 柏林爱乐 is the Chinese name of "Berlin Philharmonic," the world-famous symphony orchestra in Berlin, Germany, as well as the name of a normal lower middle-class residential complex in Beijing, China.
In the past decades, there was a trend to name residential complexes in China after famous European cities and places of interest. Names like "Venice Garden," "Zurich Home," "New York Town" are, in general, standing for the imagination of a "better" life.
"Bó Lín Ài Yuè I" recorded an intervention that took place in May 2019, in which a sound recording of the Berlin Philharmonic was played in this Beijing residential complex of the same name, in my wish to see how people who live there would react to the music (no reaction is also a reaction). The music is Gustav Mahler's epic piece The Song of the Earth, which was written based on a misapprehensive translation of ancient Chinese poems in the late 19th century.
"Bó Lín Ài Yuè II" was a performance in front of the home site of Berlin Philharmonic - Philharmonie in Berlin. Since the performance took place in the early morning at the outside of the architecture, the location itself lost its meaning and returned back to a normal public space in the urban area. The performance, by using monotonous repetition of body movements, suggesting a kind of occupying of the public space, is directly inspired by square dancing (a popular social activity among elderly women in China) video taken by the residents of "Berliner Philharmonic" in Beijing.Bó Lín Ài Yuè I & II