Yichen Zhou

Yichen Zhou



artist statement

In my project, I am using performance to explore what lies behind the surface of life and locate the line between reality and illusion. The actions in the photographs are illogical and ineffective. The questions behind these actions explore futile activities in society and failed attempts at life. The Untitled series of pictures is inspired by the current contradictions in Chinese society. The Chinese economy is developing at an abnormally fast speed and its people are experiencing another Great Leap Forward — creating illusions without self-awareness. We are trying to build the highest building, make the fastest train, and display the best image of China to the world. We are actors on a stage, completely absorbed in the performance and never stopping to think about what we are doing. Although the project is inspired by China, the intension is for all people to question their living status. The project goes beyond China like the boundary-less landscape goes beyond the photograph. The work is opening relevant to the new generation, who grew up with rapidly developed high technology all around the world. Information is easily attained through the surface glimpse of the Internet, and they lose the interest of exploring the world deeper. They believe that they have a better view of the world than before. In the case, we all live in an illusion that is made by technology without self-awareness. It is certain that we have more information than the past generation, which does not mean we have better. None of the characters in my photograph notice the surrounding, just as we do not realize of the world we live in.


what do you love about the MFA program at Parsons The New School?

People in the MFA program have different perspectives and strategies to take picture, which make photography has more possibilities. But the most important thing is, as an international student, they are my family here. Everyone is unique but no one is alone. 

anticipated graduation date: