Yanru Zhou

Photo of a panel affixed with foil paper and painted with red and green areas above and below the foil section.

Panel, acrylic, nails, tin foil paper

Photo of Yanru Zhou

Yanru Zhou

Artist biography

Life today exists against a backdrop of disposable packaging and messages about consumption. It feels like we are suspended between the natural and the artificial. As an interdisciplinary artist, I work with various mediums including painting, printmaking, videos and installation. I reassemble objects to new use so that the life of the things can be extended. Through materials like found packaging and advertisements, wool, and clay, I make installations with process of embedding and wrapping.

A central theme of my work involves putting unexpected materials on equal footing. I juxtapose these materials through practices of wrapping, cocooning containers within clay, zinc foil, or textiles because these give new display forms to the objects while also giving me subtle power over what the viewer can and cannot experience in the piece. The wrapping either creates uniformity or allows features to be obscured. In my recent project, I wrapped an entire space with plastic wrap and covered its interior walls with grocery advertisements to show how commerce and art are bound together and how they reconfigure the viewer’s understanding of space. The plastic is chosen as the material of wrapping in order to let viewers think of plastic bags. In the most recent video project that I have made, I wrapped my body with plastic film. I placed myself as consumers, sellers and products.

With my process of wrapping, reassembling and redefining materials, I want the viewer to reconsider their notions of ephemerality and permanence in the consumerist world by engaging with my art.

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Grocery Store
Flyers, plastic film, price tags

Photo of a small room wallpapered with grocery store flyers.
A still from a video showing a grocery store and food piled up outside it on display, for sale. A figure sits in front of one of the piles looking right.

All for Sale
Video link: https://vimeo.com/389065266

A photo of the artist's studio surrounded by prints, an easel, and other projects in situ.

Inside the artist's studio