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Photographer ZHOU Yang


Photographer ZHOU Yang

ZHOU Yang is an artist using the medium of photography. Her research and practice explore themes of memory, cultural heritage and myths, and has been exhibited in major photo festivals in China in the past decade, such as Lianzhoufoto, Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival, and Image of Silk Road Photography Biennale of Tianshui. Having a MA in Photojournalism at the University of Westminster in UK and a BA in Broadcasting and Television Journalism at Shanghai International Studies University, Zhou’s practice now takes leave from the reality and ventures into the spiritual realm. She believes in photography’s ability to reveal the unseen and the invisible. Zhou is now a PhD student at Centre for Chinese Visual Art, Birmingham City University, UK.



Photographer ZHOU Yang


Sites of Myths

Taking the path of re-enchantment, this on-going photographic project seeks to provide healing and consolation to contemporary life by evoking faith in ancient myths by capturing the innate holiness of Nature. I’ve always been interested in myths and folklores of different cultures. Archaeological evidence aside, I couldn’t help but imagine what the world was like before the History. For me, having a taste in myths and legends even in adulthood, a world with elves and dragons would be more exciting than amoeba. Nearly all the major civilizations have myths at the very beginning of their history. We are inclined to believe that the wise men used to lead humans in a purer civilization, a past era when the gods lived among men and men closer to Nature. It is only after the advance of science and technology that myths were belittled and banished into the nursery. In my project, I hope to restore the faith in myths. Shooting in natural environments where something magical about the place reminds me of some specific myths, legends and folklores, and I feel that these could be the sites where ancient miraculous stories happened. I intend to capture the innate holiness of Nature.



Photographer ZHOU Yang


Confined in our sad realities, we no longer believe in the miraculous turns in myths, fairy-stories and legends. However, as J. R. R. Tolkien wrote in the essay ‘On Fairy-stories’, the main function of such joyous turns is to provide Consolation: ‘it denies … universal final defeat and in so far is evangelium, giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world…’ Therefore, my project intends to re-enchant the reality and take advantage of the truth claim inherent in the medium of analog photography to reestablish our belief in myths. Shot with 4x5 view camera and color negatives, this project is an exploration in spirituality and aims to rekindle our faith in miracles. The Consolation brought about by this belief might have the power to heal our souls.


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