The Poplar Tree and Mirror

Still from Zhou Tao, One Day (Changsha), 2010

The video works in The Poplar Tree and Mirror concern social causality in contemporary Chinese and global culture at large. Chains of events are set in motion everyday: a decision is made, an action performed, the contingent effects registered on others. How does one negotiate these social outcomes, especially when transformative political and economic forces drive them?

Through varying subjects, the video works in this exhibition intimate an uneasy reality in which one attempts to locate human agency in these causal chains. It is evident in the irreversible breaking of a mirror. The struggle to form an athletic body. The defiant misuse of our consumer landscape. The inherent violence of cultural transformation. The unexpected decentering of everyday cynicism.

The Poplar Tree and Mirror is an exhibition of video works by Chinese contemporary artists selected from the research archives of Video Bureau, a not-for-profit organization established in 2012 in Beijing and Guangzhou that provides a platform to exhibit, organize and archive video art.

On view at ISCP is work by five artists from China representing a concise generational cross-section of video art making. Artists included in this exhibition are Huang Xiaopeng (黄小鵬), Li Ming (李明), Ma Qiusha (馬秋莎), Zhang Peili (張培力), and Zhou Tao (周 滔). This exhibition is curated by independent curator and ACT Affiliate Howie Chen (陳 旭 峰).

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  • international studio & curatorial program (iscp)
    1040 Metropolitan Avenue
    Brooklyn, New York 11211


  • opening reception
    Friday, April 25, 7 – 9 pm
  • panel discussion
    On Video Bureau's Residency at ISCP with Howie Chen and Sue Hui, Moderated by Xiaofei Mo

    Saturday, April 26, 4pm

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