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Zen Foto Gallery is pleased to present “Mirror”, an exhibition of photographs by Liu Ke & Huang Huang from 24 May to 15 June. Based in Chengdu, China, the artist duo felt that they were the mirror of each other when they first met and began taking a photo of each other every day in 2017 for two years to rediscover their relationship, which allowed them to observe and interact with each other, exploring a new photographic relationship and creating a visual dialogue between two people. The series of 730 pairs of photographs received the Three Shadows Photography Award in 2019 and the publication of the series was released in 2022 by Zen Foto Gallery. This exhibition marks the first exhibition in Japan by the artist duo and will present a selection of 25 pairs of photographs from the photobook, as well as a video installation of the rest of the works. The artist duo will be visiting Tokyo for this exhibition. We will hold a talk event and an opening reception to celebrate the exhibition on 25 May.

We are a pair of artistic partners whose lives have been intertwined for more than 20 years.

We met in 2003, and our common love for art became the main source of energy between us. Later, we went to the Three Gorges and traveled in and out of the area repeatedly, just like the intersection of dream and reality — we met the river and the people unexpectedly as if we met ourselves. Three years later, the work “Still Lake” was completed, and we had our own children. Later on, we moved to the outskirts of Chengdu with our children, where we played, created and grew up together. Six years flew by. Time has also eliminated our passion and sensitivity towards each other. Starting in 2017, we made a promise to take a picture of each other every day, wanting to do something “fruitless” again to rediscover our relationship with each other — searching and waiting in the process. This creation lasted for two years, and every day in the two years, we observed each other as a mirror — these 730 days and 1460 photos will remain in each other’s lives forever.

After experiencing the haze of the pandemic, when art was still our only outlet, we tried to create a “Brave New World” — another possibility of existence — in our new performance video creation, to resist the passage of time and the emptiness of reality with our joint creation, to explore more possibilities in our relationship with each other and with everything in the world, and to open the door of perception — to perceive and experience the sacredness and infinity of all things, and to search for some kind of eternal existence from an individual perspective and a dual perspective.

As a creative duo, we participate in the dialogue as individuals and try to transcend the traditional gender roles and identity differences to establish a state of balance, pursuing the commonality of human beings, and returning to the essence of human beings — a more sublime spiritual world. We hope to arouse the viewers to think about themselves, others and the world, and to establish a longer-term concern beyond the material world.

— Liu Ke & Huang Huang

Artist Profile

Liu Ke&Huang Huang

Liu Ke and Huang Huang is an artist duo who lives and works in Chengdu, China. Through the observation and experience of their daily life, their works are mainly presented in images, installations, performances and other media. Their purpose is to explore more possibilities in relationships and to create more open interactions by breaking personal boundaries. They wish to lead the audience to a dramatic and dreamlike journey by the energy they create in the exhibition spaces. Liu Ke and Huang Huang have exhibited extensively in China and overseas, including Three Shadows Photography Art Center, Chengdu Contemporary Image Museum, Normandie Impressionist Festival, France, Echigo-Tsumari Triennial, Japan, Zen Foto Gallery, Tokyo, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, Lianzhou Foto Festival, etc. Their publications include “Still Lake” (Zen Foto Gallery, 2010; Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, 2019) and “To Nietzsche” (Zen Foto Gallery, 2020). Liu Ke was nominated for the Foam Paul Huf Award with his work “Still Lake” in 2010 and the duo received the Three Shadows Photography Award with their work “Mirror” in 2019. Their solo exhibition “The Other Side of Time” at Three Shadows Photography Art Center was held in 2022.

Publications & Prints

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Mirror

Liu Ke&Huang Huang