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The Institute of Critical Zoologists
Solo Exhibition Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, U.K.
Date: 2012

Artists: Robert ZHAO Renhui 赵仁辉

The Institute of Critical Zoologists (ICZ) works with artists, scientists and researchers to develop a critical approach to the zoological gaze, exploring how we perceive and classify the natural world. This exhibition brings together commissioned projects by Zhao Renhui (an artist who works closely with the ICZ) and extracts from the Institute’s museum collection.

Taking factional environments as a starting point for quasi-factual scenarios, projects are realised as installations, photographic art works, archive material and expedition reports. The ICZ aims to test the role of art and photography in the dissemination of knowledge and acceptance of truths.

Chapter has worked in collaboration with the ICZ to present its first UK retrospective exhibition that interrogates the boundaries between the seen and the unseen, art and artifice, credence and fantasy; exploring methods of allegorical representation and interpretation.

In March 2012, ICZ artist Zhao Renhui undertook a residency at the National Museum Cardiff that has informed part of the research for this exhibition. An installation by the artist is open in the Natural History Galleries at the Museum between 13 March and 17 June 2012.

Pauline J Yao writes, Zhao’s work “may be truthful depictions or artful fabrications, but it hardly matters: Zhao succeeds in proving that our assumptions about reality must be rigorously questioned if not, on occasion, fully abandoned”. (Best of 2010, Art Forum)

This exhibition is curated by Lauren Jury and Helen Warburton.

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