press release

Courtyard Gallery is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition in Beijing of acclaimed photo and video artist Zhu Jia. On view from November 1 to December 30 will be Zhu Jia’s Daydream (2006, 9min, video). A reception for the artist will take place on November 1 at CourtYard’s new exhibition space located at 53 Donganmen Dajie.

In Daydream, Zhu Jia expresses the helplessness which modern city dwellers feel in the face of pollution, overcrowding, poverty, and other urban problems. The work is a meditation on the sense of escape that one must enact on the psyche in order to cope with these problems. The work also suggests that the artist can free others from the stresses of everyday living.

Daydream is divided into three sections, with two live-action sequences at the beginning and end and an animation in the middle. The beginning shows two men standing on a Beijing overpass discussing the problems they see beneath them. They decide that the only way to cope with the problems must be to somehow escape them. The narrative is punctuated by an animation of the two men flying over the city and proceeding to fondle and flirt with a woman made of clouds.

The curator Huang Du writes in the catalogue for the show: “The city is being occupied, taken, and compressed. Everyone feels the pressure and that is why some may go crazy due to the effects of these illogical and uncontrollable forces. Thus, a ‘crazy’ man’s words become a kind of daydream—one which is surreal but also real. The paranoid conversation turns into a fantasy of escaping the real

Born in Beijing, Zhu graduated from the Central Academy of Arts in 1988. His work has been exhibited widely, including at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Venice Biennale, 2003; and the Shanghai Gallery of Art, among others.

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Zhu Jia: Daydream
Kurator: Huang Du
Courtyard Downtown