A solo exhibition by Zheng Wen | February 17 – March 16, 2024
Opening event on Saturday, February 17, 4-6:30 pm
(Re)covered is a solo exhibition by Zheng Wen, featuring a series of street photographs taken in China and Denmark. The photographs capture the dynamic visuals of public advertising, tagging, and street art, revealing the complex stories, meanings, and aesthetics hidden within their many layers.
At first glance, the photographs resemble scribbles, etchings, scratches, and splattered paint, typical of abstract expressionist paintings, avant-garde calligraphy, or even ancient Chinese scripture. However, a closer look reveals that these are not intentional artistic gestures, but the results of an endless cat and mouse game between street advertisers, graffiti artists, and those who manage and maintain urban surroundings, from local authorities to private waste management. Behind each surface, there are layers upon layers of paint, paper, tape, and other materials—sometimes torn, erased, or cracked, exposing the raw cement or the faded paint beneath.
Zheng Wen’s fascination with street advertisements began when capturing a large “X” over the smiling face of a politician on a campaign poster. He realized that each action of posting, spraying, covering, or recovering an object creates a novel meaning. Some actions are aggressive or territorial in nature, such as the covering with graffiti or removal of materials to destroy a previous message. Others, such as the hanging of posters, or creation of drawings add to the existing message in a more playful manner, creating a kind of collective collage.
Despite the rapid development of digital communication, physical street advertisement is still a powerful tool that infiltrates our public spaces. Through the use of his lens, and the deliberate choice to zoom in on certain details, Zheng Wen exposes the unique brushwork, composition, texture, and color of this street phenomena, transforming unwanted commercials, or even property-damaging eye-soars into provocative artistic expressions.
(Re)covered offers a glimpse into the otherwise overlooked history of our public spaces, providing a vast archive of materials, textures, and colors, documented in metropolises as well as small towns in both China and Denmark, (re)covered by humans, the passage of time, or the natural elements. Inadvertently, these traces, the camera’s viewfinder, and even the agents that drive the endless ebb and flow of adding and removing are all part of the artistic outcome.
For more information about the exhibition or to book a gallery visit, do not hesitate to write to the curator Cila Brosius at email@example.com (+45 53 54 85 95) or the artist Zheng Wen at firstname.lastname@example.org/ WeChat ID: zhengwen1833
About the Artist
Zheng Wen 郑文 (b. 1963, Beijing) is a photographer, whose interest in the medium began as early as his college years at Peking University. It was here that he was awarded a prize in photography, and organized his own window exhibition—the first of its kind on campus—in 1988. His undergraduate studies in international politics, postgraduate degree in cultural communication, and his specialization in cultural exchange throughout his career, deeply influenced the approach he took in his ongoing photography work. (Re)covered is a continuation of the exhibition Covered and Recovered Streets 街裱, which was shown at Beijing’s Inter Art Center / Inter Gallery 映艺术中心/映画廊 in 2014; the enriched form of this exhibition in Copenhagen, marks 10 years of its artistic development.
About the Curator
Cila Brosius (b. 1990, New York) is a German-American curator based in Copenhagen. She holds a master’s degree from New York University with a background in Chinese Studies, Anthropology, and Visual Arts Administration. She has worked in a variety of contemporary arts organizations for the past ten years as a curator, content creator, and art business coach. She is particularly interested in enhancing the accessibility of the art world through cross-generational and cross-cultural dialogue.