Zuoxiao Zuzhou

Zuoxiao Zuzhou, born in Nanjing in 1970, is a musician, artist and writer. Zuoxiao founded the rock band No with another musician, Ye Qian, and was a member of the Beijing East Village artists’ community. He grew up in a family working on boats and experienced street life when he was young. His real name is Wu Hongjin. In 1993, he started to use his stage name, which combines the words Zuo (left) and xiao (little), Zu (ancestor) and zhou (curse).

As an artist, Zuoxiao collaborated with other East Village artists on To Add One Meter to an Anonymous Mountain (1995), in which all participating artists made a naked human pyramid on a mountaintop. This piece was involved in the 48th Venice Biennale (1999). He has participated in many art exhibitions locally and internationally. In 2007, he posted his work I Love Contemporary Art Too on the artist Ai Weiwei’s blog, and scored Ai’s work Fairytale. Some of his works are very politically engaged, while the others are more related to sound experiment.

As a musician, Zuoxiao’s first album, The Missing Master, was released in 1998. The second album Trip to the Temple Fair was released two years later. These two albums were both ranked as top album by Rock magazine at that time. The third album, Zuoxiao Zuzhou at Di An Men, won over the Chinese music market, making him a very popular musician.

Zuoxiao published his first and only novel, Barking at the Tomb, in 2000. He is renowned for his trans-boundary practice and critical attitude toward social and political reality. In the field of music, he appropriates traditional Chinese opera, classic music, noise music and electronic music, all of which help to create a complex texture and abstruse context in his music. In the field of art, he is even more unpredictable. Not only does he apply many mediums such as painting, photograph, installation and mixed media, but he always manages to create a particular visual language through his unique ways with humor and metaphor. He is always seen as an “uncanny” human being: he expresses his expectation for equality and love as an ordinary person through art and music and exposes the implicitly pessimistic nature of life.

(Su Wei)

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