The poetic film ‘Blue and Red’ by Zhou Tao (Changsha, China 1976) was shot largely on a hypermodern square in the Chinese city Guangzhou and a square in the Thai capital Bangkok. The atmosphere in Guangzhou is pleasant and peaceful while the mood in Bangkok is governed by unrest, protest and violence. Nonetheless daily life continues as normal: people sleep, eat, dance and receive massages.
The artificial city lighting amplifies the theatricality of their activities: in this film the square - traditionally a site for encounters and exchanges - is a podium for both political debate and everyday moments.
Zhou separates various places and events from their context and interweaves them, thus putting our image of reality into perspective: one place is dominated by unrest while another simply gets on with life. In our highly visual society everything is photographed and filmed, thanks in part to the ubiquitous smartphone. Zhou believes this influences the way we see, think and feel. Is filming the new looking and is film therefore the new reality?
In 2013 Zhou Tao won the Han Nefkens Foundation - BACC Bangkok Asian Contemporary Art Award. This prize provided a residency in Bangkok and the opportunity to make new work.