Zhijin Hu

Artist Statement

My work explores the symbiotic relationship between modern cities and their residents. Growing up in Shenzhen, China’s fastest growing city and now one of the biggest economic hubs of the country, I saw how residents’ values shifted as the city flourished. We used to pursue happiness by focusing on family and community, but our values have mutated, and we now place greater value on material things and our own reputation.

While thinking about this cultural shift, I began recording my observations through art. The city is just like a mirror: it reflects the lives it carries. As we developed larger cities, the cities changed us and altered our values and pursuits. As we are constantly changing, the future of cities is never predictable, and the lives involved also become unsteady and unknowing.

Visually, I communicate this tension of the city by using a variety of colors, materials, and forms. In all my work, these elements are used not only to translate the diversity of the city, but to deliver visual absurdity -- feelings of chaos, constraint, and underlying desolation -- through saturation of media.

Ultimately, my work serves the purpose of recording the contemporary time of metropolitan places and, in turn, questioning the final destination of this transition.