LIN ZHIPENG no. 223 - SOLO EXHIBITION
June 3- August 13, 2017
M97 is pleased to present Lin Zhipeng (aka No.223) solo exhibition, 223 @ M97 - the first solo exhibition at the gallery for the artist. Famous for his portrayal of unconventional Chinese youth, the exhibition presents some 50 photographs depicting his quotidian surroundings through the prism of beauty and emotion. The exhibition will run from June 3 - August 13, 2017 in M97’s 2nd Floor “Project Space”, with an opening reception for the artist on June 3 from 5-7pm.
Lin Zhipeng is a leading figure of new Chinese photography emerging in the last decade, popularizing his work originally via social media and other online platforms as well as his self-published zines. Lin’s work has come to reflect and define a certain zeitgeist of the post-80’s and 90’s generation of non-mainstream Chinese youth. Amidst an otherwise conservative and often closed traditional society and cultural background, Lin’s photographs act as a collective not-so-private diary of a young generation wishing to escape the pressures from a high-stakes society and play within its limits. Faded flowers tangled with flesh tones, myriad patterns mixing with an emotional ambiguity of both love and chaos, fantasy and eroticism. 223’s works are saturated with a soft sense of carefreeness, a playful innocence, and a certain optimism amidst a hedonist lifestyle going against the expected pleasures and entrapments of the middle class dream.
Naming himself “No. 223” after the police character in Wong Kar-Wai’s movie Chungking Express, Lin Zhipeng also adopts a sense of the Hong Kong director’s poetic and dreamy atmosphere as well as the loneliness and mystery of many of his film’s characters. Working from inspirations of the likes of Guy Bourdin, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Juergen Teller, Lin Zhipeng offers his point of view on an alternative youth spirit and culture in an often conservatively Chinese cultural context. His spontaneous photographs portray a young generation who indulge in love and life, oscillating between jubilation and deep melancholy, playful sexuality and often just the simple human need to be loved in an otherwise indifferent and ever-changing society.
Born in Guangdong in 1979, Lin Zhipeng is a photographer and freelancer writer based in Beijing. Created in 2003, his blog “North Latitude 23” where he published everyday pictures accompanied by short texts received millions views and made him famous among the web community. His photographs have been featured in numerous publications such a Vice and Voices of Photography magazines, as well as the book New Photography in China (2006). Presented for ten years in group exhibitions in China (Lianzhou International Photography Festival, 2008 ; 2014) and abroad (Unseen Photo Fair Amsterdam, 2013), Lin Zhipeng’s works have recently been the object of several solo shows both nationally and internationally (Loppis Galleria Parma, 2014 ; De Sarthe Gallery Beijing, 2016 ; Stieglitz19 Gallery Antwerp, 2016).