The Red Curtain: Zhu Wei
Exhibition Date: 23rd of November to 6th of December, 2005

Plum Blossoms Gallery proudly presents Zhu Weiˇ¦s new works of the Utopia series in Zhu Weiˇ¦s solo exhibition The Red Curtain: Zhu Wei. Zhu Wei continues his statement about the illusions of the burgeoning prosperity in contemporary China in response to her continuing economic boom. More precisely, he reflects the concept of utopia, which has long been an internalized mission of the Chinese government.

Not just Zhu Wei, but the whole Chinese population is fascinated by the colour red. In the Chinese way of thinking, red represents good fortune, luck, prosperity, happiness, and good news. Yet ironically, red also symbolizes the legitimacy and the supremacy of the government.

[CO1002] Utopia, No.49


A backdrop of red curtain is often present in Zhu Weiˇ¦s Utopia series. In Utopia No.58, a crowd of figures neatly dressed in their blue and green revolutionary uniforms and is aligned compactly with their eyes focused in the same direction as if something higher up is attracting their attention. These narrow-eyed figures solemnly stand and with their mouth shut, resembling the moment when people gravely looking at the rising of the red National flag of China.

In contrast, in Utopia No. 49, the group of dignified-looking figures is replaced by a group of cheerful young females. Interestingly these young ladies seem to be more positive towards the imaginary utopia and they are more actively participating in the context-- two out of the three figures in the front row have their mouth opened as if they are bravely voicing out, whereas in Utopia Np.58 only the bald-headed figure in the center is open-mouthed.

Is there any suggestion that these people are getting any nearer to what they coined the state of utopia? To a certain extend, the inattentive and robot-like facial expressions bring forth a sense of concern over the stability-at-stake as well as the slightest chance to succeed. In Utopia Noˇ¦s 52, 53, 54 and 56, the composition is dominated by bunches of colourful and vivid blossoming flowers. Occasionally up-rising hands are visible gesturing voting and expressing opinion in congress posting a question about democracy. In Utopia No. 53, the heads of the people are so tiny that one can easily overlook and neglect their presence. The overwhelming flowers symbolize the hope and the illusions of prosperity and utopia, which embrace people and keep them from facing reality.

Under the red curtain, no one is absolutely positive or extremely negativeˇK Zhu Wei leaves this as an open statement for spectators to decide on.

[CO1103] Utopia, No.52

[CO1104] Utopia, No.53

[CO1105] Utopia, No.54

[CO1106] Utopia, No. 56

[CO1110] Utopia, No. 66

[CO1108] Utopia, No. 60

[CO1101] Sweet Life No.40

[CO1109] Utopia, No. 61

[CO1107] Utopia, No. 58