Middle Class Angst
Oct 17 –
Dec 5, 2015 EXTENDED THRU MID-JAN 2016
The image of a large crystal chandelier swinging hypnotically back and forth across Arrow Factory’s architectural facade is a new video installation by documentary filmmaker and artist Zhao Liang entitled Middle Class Angst. Transforming Arrow Factory’s trifold glass doors into a screen, Zhao projects a video of an ornate light fixture swinging on a generic black background, progressing from stillness to fierce careening and back to tranquility without any visible exterior force. At the apex of its sway, the chandelier’s image veers off uncontrollably beyond the outer edges of the Arrow Factory door (and projection) frame. Endlessly moving at uneven speeds with no climax or clear resolution, Middle Class Angst evokes a sense of unceasing instability and the impossibility of rest.
Working in photography and documentary film, Zhao’s work probes aspects of contemporary Chinese society through the lens of individual experience and collective history. Often pointing his camera at the underrepresented or disenfranchised, Zhao has earned himself a distinguished and sometimes controversial, position in film circles. He has received international attention for his documentary films Farewell Yuanmingyuan (2006), Crime and Punishment (2007) and Petition: The Court of the Complainants (2009). His most recent film Behemoth (2015) received accolades at the 72nd Venice Film Festival.
Zhao Liang (b. 1971 in Dandong, Liaoning China) graduated from the Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in 1992. His work has been exhibited at the 10th Shanghai Biennial (Shanghai), Three Shadows Photography Art Center (Beijing), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Chinese Arts Centre (Manchester), Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), National Museum of Fine Arts (La Paz), Stasiatiska Museum (Stockholm), Contemporary Arts Museum (Houston), Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma (Helsinki) and the International Center of Photography (New York). He lives and works in Beijing.
Middle Class Angst is viewable daily from dusk to 1am.