Yi Zhou

  • January 21st, 2011
    Par Yi Zhou


    Shanghai 2011. In a mix-match globalized new Chinese society, Chinese citizens can better understand branding, brands and the history behind them thanks to educational exhibitions such as "Culture Chanel" which just opened in Shanghai. On the private viewing afternoon, I grabbed a cup of green tea latte on People's square, and walked by the Shanghai museum where my videos were still on at the Shanghai Biennial, then finally got to MoCA. (Photo 1, click here to see all images in a new window)

    The exhibition starts with a Karl Lagerfeld's piece as an interpretation about Gabrielle Chanel's childhood spent at the orphanage in Aubazine, Corrèze (France). The monastery's architecture elements and the nuns' style have inspired Coco Chanel's imagination and her future style as a designer. (Photo 2)

    The exhibition is curated by Jean-Louis Froment and all the see-through plexiglass plinths were made in France and shipped to China for the exhibition. They enhanced the beauty of Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld's works juxtaposed with modern paintings and sculptures. I liked the fact that each screw was protected by a plastic element which showed that the finishing of each exhibition was as important as the artworks contained in it. (Photo 3)

    Chanel News asked me to take a self-portrait with my Leica at the exhibition venue. (Photo 4)

    The camellia definitely is a trademark that has always defined Chanel as a brand. It was said that Gabrielle Chanel was very moved by Sarah Bernhardt's interpretation of "The Lady of the Camellias" by Alexander Dumas. (Photo 5)

    It was also said that Gabrielle Chanel was inspired by dandies, such as Marcel Proust, who had a camellia pinned onto his jacket.
    Marcel Proust in the garden of Reynaldo Hahn
    Collection Snark/Art Resource, New York (USA)
    (Photo 6)

    A great photograph of Olga Picasso with Jean Cocteau and Pablo Picasso: both artists were very close to the designer.
    Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky and Olga Picasso in Juan-les-Pins (France)
    Original print
    Collection Fondation Paul Sacher, Collection Igor Stravinsky, Bâle (Switzerland)
    (Photo 7)

    In the evening, we got dressed up in Haute Couture to attend the MoCA opening. For the occasion, I invited Paul Andreu, a French architect who designed the Roissy Airport Terminal 1 in Paris at the age of 29. He has also contributed to a number of significant architectural projects in China. He traveled to Shanghai for his solo exhibition that is displaying drawings, so, it was a perfect occasion to gather together at the MoCA and celebrate the "Culture Chanel" exhibition about artists and Chanel. (Photo 8)

    At last, I got home and opened the catalogue "Culture Chanel". The catalogue is a giant 400 pages book, made with 5 different kinds of papers beautifully printed in Beijing. After such an inspiring day, it was time to pack up my suitcases and get ready for my departure to Park City, where my latest 3D animation "The Greatness" will be in competition at Sundance Film Festival. (Photo 9)


  • October 6th, 2010
    Par Yi Zhou


    It's my French art dealer, I have been working with Jerôme de Noirmont since 2002 and he has been a great supporter of my work. I am the youngest artist of his gallery, as they represent Jeff Koons, Shirine Neshat and Pierre et Gilles, who are great artists that are inspirational to me and that I look up to. We are going to prepare a solo exhibition for spring 2011 which will be my 4th solo show with the gallery.
    Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont
    38 Avenue Matignon
    75008 Paris

    It's one of my favorite places in Paris, as it's very close to my house and they are open all day, therefore very convenient for meetings, afternoon teas and a hang out place to read books. I like the architectural space of that restaurant, it's got 3 layers, 3 depths, while sitting there, one could imagine a waterfall running down from the stairs, birds flying in and out of the windows that surround the space.
    Restaurant "La Société"
    4 Place Saint Germain
    75006 Paris

    It's my favorite bookstore in Paris. I like the sociology and philosophy section in there. After my graduation at the American university, I have been able to deepen my knowledge of contemporary French philosophy thanks to the corner devoted to it in the bookstore la Hune. It's open until midnight on weekdays, therefore, it's a great pit stop even after dinner to resource some food for thought.
    La Hune
    170 Boulevard Saint Germain
    75006 Paris

    It's my favorite vintage clothing stand at the Fleat market. The woman who owns the stand has the best eye and aesthetics. Although her stand is a reference place for lots of fashion designers, she preserves her eye from any fashion contamination by not watching TV or reading newspapers/magazines, so that her eye and vision can always stay pure. It's a quite an interesting approach since we live in a world in which we are constantly polluted by information.
    Chez Sarah
    Serpette Market

    It's one of my favorite cinemas in Paris, due to its multimedia facilities and its DVD store assembling the best MK2 movie collections. It's also the venue where I will be screening a "retrospective" of my films at a special cocktail event that MK2 will be devoting to my work on December 6th.
    MK2 Bibliothèque
    128 Avenue de France
    75013 Paris

    It's my favorite brasserie in Paris, they serve the best hamburgers. It's located near Montmartre, Pigalle, Moulin Rouge, La Cigale and La Fourmi: places that fill in my imagination and inspiration as an artist.
    14  Avenue de Clichy
    75018 Paris

    It displays a large collection of paintings, studies and drawings by Gustave Moreau, whose work is one of my inspirations. I can feel the pain and the cries in his works. While walking through the museum, the pain and the vision from his paintings stand out as if one experiences a 3D effect.
    Le musée Gustave Moreau
    14 Rue La Rochefoucauld
    75009 Paris

    It's Karl Lagerfeld's bookstore, and it’s very close to my house. I’ve collected books since I was a child and 7L has the most cutting edge selection mixed with mainstream pieces. Each piece seems to be selected with love and for the sake of culture.
    Librairie 7L
    7 Rue de Lille
    75007 Paris

    It's my favorite production house in Paris. They offer the best 3D/CG, editing and production facilities. Every person working at Premiere Heure is a great inspiration for artists and directors as they not only provide production and post production services, but they also engage into a long term dialogue with creative people in order to create a unique "savoir-faire". I have recently partnered with Premiere Heure and have opened its Chinese division.
    Première Heure
    23 Avenue Bernard Palissy
    92210 Saint-Cloud