223@in)(between record vol 39
The works of No.223 - Saturated Colours, Fashionable Nudity, Reality and Escapism, Melancholy and Playful Sexuality -
Lin Zhipeng (aka No.223), born in Guangdong in 1979, is a leading figure of new Chinese photography emerging in the last decade. Over 20 years ago Lin Zhipeng named himself “No. 223” in social media networks, the name he adopted was that of the fascinating character of the young police detective in Wong Kar-Wai’s movie Chungking Express 1994. One could say that 223 also carries a sense of the Hongkonger director’s poetic and picturesque camera work, a colorful atmosphere with loneliness and mystery like in many of Wong Kar-Wai’s film’s characters. With his nude and semi-nude photographs 223 reveals the unmasked nudity of his characters and props, Documentary Photography and Concept Photography, Reality and Escapism both far from that repetitive superficial nude photography that has invaded the world.
With his story line 223 discloses that counterculture essence of youth – Young People indulging in love and life, interchanging passages of melancholy and playful sexuality – a story line apart not only from the socially imposed conservativeness and indifferences of his homeland but from the western perception of what today’s Chinese youth is. His story line discloses nudity’s empowering presence and vulnerability.
For this exhibition in)(between gallery invited Pierre Bessard from Éditions Bessard to cocurate the show. It is not accidentally that the gallery invited Pierre: he had published books of 223 and Ren Hang, offering the west a chance to get acquainted with two of the best contemporary Chinese photographers. Pierre knew both of them, 223 and the departed Ren Hang, equally well, Pierre not only published fantastic books for them but acted as a benchmark of their artistic presence in the west and still promotes their works today.
For the show Pierre Bessard - Éditions Bessard - and Luigi Clavareau - in)(between gallery – teaming with 223 selected 55 photographs, some included in the two books published by Pierre (Sour Strawberries-2018 and Hidden Track-2016) but mainly unpublished oeuvres from 2007-2018.
223 refined his photographic signature long before Ren Hang started photography. He started photographing in the early 2000’s, with street photography, some of those memorable works are the shots from an old airport – maybe by chance it was that a friend asked him to photograph her and soon after that 223 walked into what would define his photographic signature – his artistic photography – using film as his medium since 2004 and his friends and his own life as subjects.
With his works he chases freedom, yet what he finds in China is not real freedom, censorship in China constricts him to only show his fashionable explicit nude artworks in some galleries without public disclosure of his artistic statement against the forced censorship or socially imposed conservativeness, a reality that deprives him of the right to publications and social media exposure of his OEuvrage , as he says “I have to obey the law in China”. Yet publications such Sour Strawberries-2018 and Hidden Track-2016 from Editions Bessard and the few exhibition 223 had had in the west including 223 @in)(between somewhat had found him an addition to the artistic freedom he does not have in China, artistic freedom to show both his documented reality by using his friends and personal life as subjects as documentary photography and his escapism encompassed in his Concept Photography.
223 says “It’s ignorant to compare me to Ren Hang” – suggested reading interview for SLEEK Art and Photography in August 2018. This exhibitions supports his words and aims to provide 223 with one more opportunity to continue showing his works in Paris, as he did in 2018 in his eccentric exhibition curated by Anna Mistal - No.223@GrandAmour , Grand Amour Hotel, Paris, 2018.
223 @ in)(between record vol 39
in)(between Gallery, 39 rue Chapon, 75003 Paris
Until 13 April 2019