Zhou Bin was in residence at the University of Applied Arts Vienna from 15 October 2016 to 15 January 2017. His residency immediately followed that of media artist Victoria Vesna in 2015. Zhou was thus the second visiting artist to participate in the residency programme initiated by the University in the summer semester of 2016.

The aim of the programme is to bring artists whose practice is particularly interesting and stimulating into contact with those areas of study at the University of Applied Arts that are connected with their work, and in so doing to contribute to the continuous development of the university institution as a place of encounter, of lively and diverse artistic and scientific productivity, teaching and research, a place where artistic, scientific and cross-disciplinary practices can be examined and discussed along with their significance with respect to the areas of work concerned and to society. This international exchange should allow both the University and an interested public to derive benefit from the great variety that characterizes modern work methods and research.

Zhou’s work ties in directly with this aim. He believes that a performance artist requires daily practice. He perceives the environment with his heart and with his body, his artistic practice thus fusing with life itself. Zhou has become known internationally for his performance work and his spiritual practice. He gave guest lectures at the University in the winter semester of 2016/17, took part in exhibitions, and from 9-13 January 2017, presented parts of his “365-Day Project” in the Angewandte Innovation Lab, a project on which he continued to work during the rest of his Vienna residency.

A 365-Day Project

“A 365-Day Project” began on 7 August 2016, the first day of autumn according to the Chinese lunar calendar, and it is to last for 365 days. The title of the project is meant to convey that for the period of one year Zhou will create each day an artistic work. In undertaking this project, the artist is taking quite literally a statement he made to an audience on 28 April 2016 during a solo exhibition at the Chengdu Museum of Contemporary Art: “As my life enters its next phase, so does my art work.” Zhou has set out to blur the boundaries between life and creative work and to take his body to its limits in his performance work in order to allow his specific creative approach to unfold its full potential. He would like to be able to experience a higher sense of order when life and art throw him off balance. His creative plan: to persevere in the endeavour for the duration of one year.

Zhou Bin

was born in 1970 in Xi´ an, graduated from Xi´an Academy of Arts. From 1994 to 1997 he conducted oil-painting in the old SummerPalace and Songzhuang of Beijing. In 1997, he moved to Chengdu. From then on, he has worked primarily in performance and new media, as well as installation. Zhou Bin is a prolific artist with nearly one hundred pieces of performance art, installation, and video work. He has been doing art work or residence programmes in Japan, Korea, Singapore, Philippines,Holland, England, USA, Spain, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Indonesia, Pakistan, Israel, Germany and Italy.

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He believes that a performing artist needs daily training and practice while always perceiving their environment with body and heart, thus merging art into life. His opinion of aligning “performing art and physical/spiritual practice” has gained wide publicity and recognition. He has been invited to present performing art courses in Sichuan Fine Art Institute and The Art Institute of Sichuan University since June, 2012.

Zhou Bin also works in collaborative projects. In 2007 he opened UP-ON Live Art Space for the specific purpose of promoting live art. In 2008, Zhou Bin curated the first UP-ON International Live Art Festival, inviting over forty artists from all over the world to perform and exchange ideas on live art. In 2009, Zhou Bin began producing Celebration —1/6 Comment on Freedom, a multi-media, multi-artist ongoing and touring live art happening.

Of late, he is meditating on and developing performance art theory. He believes that Chinese performance art must transcend the limits of the individual body, and must also make a contribution to international performance art discourse.

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