17 May 2021

Weighing Your Own Presence in Contemporary Chinese Society

17 May 2021 - Written by PhMuseum

By walking the thin line between subjectivity and objectivity, artist Yichen Zhou combines several creative approaches to propose an examination of her existence within the collective consciousness of her community.

Daily Talk is a series of photography work that collects daily personal thoughts, which were inspired by the current contradictions in Chinese society. It includes self-portraits, street photos, performances, daily objects, and family archives.

With all these photos, I tried to create a context of personal history. I am interested in drawing attention to two coexistent forms of memory – personal and collective. What do individual thoughts and family history mean to society? When we talk about history, we are talking about collective memories. Can Politic manipulate it? Do sex differences make us have different perspectives on life history?

Compared to collective memories, I believe personal history is more objective. The Daily Talk series is the process of figuring out who I am and where I stand as an individual in this society. It is the most personal and intimate compilation of images, and simultaneously, the most open and comprehensive.

Words and Pictures by Yichen Zhou.


Yichen Zhou is an artist working with photography, video, performance and installations. She was born in Inner Mongolia and raised in Beijing, China. Her performance-based work explores her identity as part of a new generation of Chinese artists and points to the challenges of living in a world where she finds multiple cultures and values in conflict. Find her on PHmuseum and Instagram.


This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PHmuseum curators.

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