de Sarthe is pleased to present its second solo exhibition for Beijing-based contemporary artist Zhong Wei, titled 省電模式［■□□□］· phone died. The exhibition features a new series of works on canvas as well as a large-scale installation that contemplates modes of communication in times of social sterility and 21st century, post-Covid-19 angst. 省電模式［■□□□］· phone died opens May 15 and runs through July 3.
Alien-like organic forms and fragmented compositions are recurring motifs in Zhong Wei’s artworks. Sourcing his imagery from the dynamic and vivid visual language of Internet culture, Zhong Wei digitally collages select elements into complexly layered compositions before transferring his creations onto canvas via acrylic, archival pigment print, and/or silkscreen.
Zhong Wei’s practice draws inspiration from a vast range of subjects, particularly contemporary culture and its ever-changing forms. His most recent body of work incorporates new narratives that reflect upon his own fruitless and exhausted efforts against the pandemic, as well as a lingering uncertainty and anxiety caused by the current state of social standstill.
His large-scale multimedia installation Forget sits in the center of the gallery space. At the core of the installation, a pulsating organ-like sculpture is housed inside a steel structure with transparent PVC curtains. Wire, tubes, and cables extend outwards from underneath the sculpture. Light emanating from their syncronized pulse is revealed through partially removed floorboards, visually reminiscent of circulatory veins and arteries that lie under the surface of our skin.
The cold and sterile aesthetic of Forget is a representation of the mechanical systems that facilitate the exchange of information in our current technological era. The installation’s biomorphic characteristics, however, are the artist’s comment on what these systems signify in a time of social suspense. As civilization is ushered indoors by the fear of infection, the lines of communication that tunnel beneath the city serve as extensions of the body, imbued with vitality amidst the gradually decaying surface.