The Institute of Critical Zoologists (ICZ) works with artists, scientists and researchers to develop a critical approach to the zoological gaze. Motivated by current ecological concerns, the heart of its practice addresses the human regard for animals as conveyors of meaning with values that are both culturally and politically specific.
Taking factional environments as a starting point for quasi-factual scenarios, projects are realised as installations, photographic art works, archive material and expedition reports. The ICZ aims to test the role of art and photography in the dissemination of knowledge and acceptance of truths.
Chapter has worked in collaboration with the ICZ to present its first UK retrospective exhibition that interrogates the boundaries between the seen and the unseen, art and artifice, credence and fantasy; exploring methods of allegorical representation and interpretation.
In March 2012, ICZ artist Zhao Renhui undertook a residency at the National Museum Cardiff that has informed part of the research for this exhibition. An installation by the artist is open in the Natural History Galleries at the Museum between 13 March and 17 June 2012.
Pauline J Yao writes, Zhao’s work “may be truthful depictions or artful fabrications, but it hardly matters: Zhao succeeds in proving that our assumptions about reality must be rigorously questioned if not, on occasion, fully abandoned”. (Best of 2010, Art Forum)
This exhibition is curated by Lauren Jury and Helen Warburton.
Under the organisational name of The Institute of Critical Zoologists, Zhao Renhui has shown in a number of international exhibitions and been the subject of extensive writing and commentary. He is currently undertaking an artist residency with Ffotogallery, UK on behalf of the Land Archive. Recent group exhibitions include: The Singapore Art Museum (2012); Langgeng Art Foundation, Indonesia (2011); Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan; Seoul Arts Center, Korea; (both 2010); Photo Levallois, Paris (2008), as well as solo exhibitions at The Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (2012) and The Arts Gallery, London (2011). In 2011 he received the Deustche Bank Award in Photography from University of the Arts London and was Winner of the Sony World Photography Awards in Still Life. He was awarded the Singapore National Arts Council Young Artist Award in 2010 and won a distinguished art prize in Singapore, The United Overseas Bank Painting of the Year Award in 2009. Zhao graduated with a Masters in Photography from The London College of Communication under its graduate scholarship program. He lives in London and Singapore.
For more information about the exhibition, press images or to arrange an interview with the artist please contact Lauren Jury on 029 2031 1050 or email email@example.com