Born 1985, Beijing. Lives and works in Shanghai and Beijing
During seven years as an art student in London, Tianzhuo Chen avidly absorbed all the subcultures of the global metropolis, from sci-fi gaming and rave culture to S&M, voguing, acid rock, hip-hop, manga and Butoh dance. Back in China, he put them through his artistic Moulinex to create video works in a crazy mishmash of styles and themes. In Ishvara (2016), his unleashed imagination reinvents gods, demons and rites of worship in a two-hour extravaganza that resembles a drug-fuelled rave at a fashion shoot gone mad. In Paradi$e Bitch (2014), two tattooed dwarves with gold teeth dance to music by the Cantonese rapper KidGod with a long-legged model in a micro-miniskirt. It’s a celebration of ugliness, ephemera, cheap chic and sin-filled freedom. The artist’s purpose is serious, if often hard to discern: a follower of Tibetan Buddhism, he aims both “to question the brokenness of contemporary life” and “to create a contemporary religion, as well as its symbolic system”.