Born in the inland city of Changsha, Zhou Tao currently lives and works in China’s third largest city Guangzhou, where he got his BFA degree in oil painting and MFA in mixed media studies from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. Since 2003 he has mainly worked with video. His art transforms real surroundings into a theatre, subject to a series of invented plotless events that are rooted in physical senses, evoked by environments and time, and expressed in a seemingly documentary language.

Zhou’s earlier works were usually body-based performances that explored human behaviour in public or private spaces. In Power Here (2008), he successfully ran four household appliances – an electronic fan, an infrared heater, a speaker and a floor lamp – on electric power obtained from various public facilities (such as traffic lights and streetlamps), and then in the exhibition space, showed video recordings of these events on monitors powered in the same way: obtaining power directly from the gallery facilities (rather than plugging them into power sockets). In Time in New York (2009), he puts a ball of string into his hip pocket, which unwinds as he moves around his apartment (and tacks it to walls, etc to leave a ‘map’ of his activities) until the string runs out and the apartment is home to the labyrinthine structure it created.

In addition to performance (space intervention) and video recording (visual writing), Zhou also drills into the space he works on for what he calls the ‘volume of time’ via painting, photography and writing. All these practices have formed an undivided whole, expressing the core of Zhou’s art: the sense and sensation of time.

Zhou Tao
Changsha, 1976

Past Exhibitions

The Street. Where the World is Made

Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo – MAXXI
07/12/2018 — 28/04/2019

Public Spirits

Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle
22/09/2016 — 08/01/2017

Tales of Our Time

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
05/11/2016 — 10/03/2017

Solo Shows

Green Sun, an exhibition by Zhou Tao, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Bangkok, Thailand

The Training, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris

Zhou Tao, A Window to the World, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art
Zhou Tao, Collector, TPW gallery, Toronto, Canada
Open Studio: Seek for Geothermal Heat, Times Musuem, Guangzhou, CN.

Group Shows

Installment 4: Chinese Artists at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris
The Eccentrics, SculptureCenter, New York City, NY

AsiaTime, 1st Asia Biennial and 5th Guangzhou Triennial – Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, Guangdong
The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8), Queensland
Going Public: International Art Collectors In Sheffield, dslcollection, Site Gallery, Sheffield
Going Public: International Art Collectors In Sheffield, dslcollection, Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery, Sheffield
System Of A Down, Ellis King, Dublin
Beyond Borders, 5th Beaufort Triennial of contemporary art by the sea, Beaufort Triennale, Oostende
Every Inclusion Is An Exclusion Of Other Possibilities II, SALT, Istanbul
VÍDEO-RÉGIMEN. Coleccionistas en la era audiovisual, Museo Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid

Shanghai Biennale 2014, Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai
Landscape. The Virtual, The Actual, The Possible?, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Landscape: the Virtual, the Actual, the Possible?, Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou, Guangdong
Ten Million Rooms of Yearning. Sex in Hong Kong, Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong

Mécaniques Des Fluides (Naviguer, Transporter, Filmer), Galrie Cécile Fakhoury, Abidjan
Bare Life, Space Station, Beijing
5th Auckland Triennial, If you were to live here… , Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland
On | Off: China’s Young Artists In Concept And Practice, UCCA – Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing

Go Figure! Contemporary Chinese Portraiture, Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, SCAF, Sydney, NSW
Go Figure! Contemporary Chinese Portraiture, Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, SCAF, Sydney, NSW
Pulse Reaction. An Exchange Project on Art Practice, Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou, Guangdong
HIGH TECH/LOW TECH – Foremas de Produção, Oi Futuro, Rio de Janeiro

Contacts & Details

City of birth: Changsha Country of birth: China Date of birth: 1976 Lives in: Guangzhou