31 January – 24 May 2020
BRUNO ZHU: SHHHHHHH
Opening: 31 January, 6pm
Exhibition: 1 February – 24 May 2020
Interview: Read UKS’ interview with Bruno Zhu here.
Treading the backwaters of consumer society, Bruno Zhu’s (b. 1991) work links desire and retail therapy with intimate everyday experiences. Preoccupied with the symbolic and political value of objects, he has sewn fabric packaging for mundane commodities, carefully tailored suits for anonymous businessmen, blown up magazine photographs to life-size representations, and runs an exhibition program inside his Chinese parents’ 3000sqm home goods store A Maior in Viseu, Portugal.
For his grand solo exhibition Shhhhhhh at UKS, Zhu expands his focus to flipping the institution inside out. Engulfing the exhibition spaces in thick curtains and velvety walls, Zhu changes the premises into an intimate scenography concealing a male figure dressed in a jockstrap alongside a few, chosen curiosa from the UKS archive. Accompanying these physical elements, gossip, misunderstandings, and other oral tales will be passed on by staff members, who Zhu has dressed for the occasion. Through these blabber-mouthed storytellers, visitors will be offered shifting entryways and sentimental ties to the displayed objects: a Polish Easter egg will prompt private tales of adolescence, desire, and corporeal concerns, while an old snapshot from an in-house event will be re-told through idiomatic anecdotes of achievements and climaxes. Zhu thus makes the innards of UKS converse in whispery tones, fusing its archival ephemera with his own backstories—all hidden behind an imperative *shhhhhhh.*
Bruno Zhu’s (b. 1991, PT) recent exhibitions include Guts at Kimberly-Klark, Queens, NY (2019); the group exhibitions Life Hacks at BQ and Constructing Desire at Knopf Paul, both in Berlin (2019); Continente at Kunsthalle Lissabon (2018); and Bugs at La Plage, Paris (2017). Zhu is a member of A Maior, a curatorial program set in a home furnishings and clothing store in Viseu, Portugal. Zhu lives and works in Amsterdam. He is a graduate from the Sandberg Instituut.
Bruno Zhu’s exhibition is made possible with the kind support from Mondriaan Fond and Arts Council Norway.
– Review in Klassekampen (newspaper)
Vekk opp de døde, Klassekampen, 05.02.2020
— Review in Morgenbladet (newspaper)
Blant fløyel og luft, Morgenbladet, 21.02.2020
— Review in Subjekt (online journal)
Synliggjør kunstinstitusjonens indre med et utenforstående blikk, Subjekt, 10.03.2020