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Payne Zhu | 2024 Residency

Switzerland | Visual Arts

Visual Arts

Nationality: China
Residency location: TBD

Payne Zhu (b.1990, Shanghai) probes into different economic systems and works in between the rheology of finance, competing bodies and the flooding of images. Aspiring to become an exile from within, Zhu manages to create alternative economics. Often taking unconventional moving images as a point of departure, Zhu’s works celebrate the unmatchable nature of the subject through the mismatch of different technological media.

“In 2021, through my research on the evolution of Shanghai’s water bodies and the late Qing dynasty Wu language classic novel ‘The Sing-song girls of Shanghai’, I traced the financial specter of Shanghai in the late Qing dynasty, both geographically and linguistically, and made a video work ‘Pre-Match’.

A coastal city, connected by a river from inland to the port is the geographical standard for almost all historical international financial center cities (Amsterdam, London, New York, Hong Kong…). Zurich seems to be an exception among them. Different from most of the financial centers mentioned above which highly refer to liquidity according to their geographical location, Zurich offers a sense of stability and security (Mountain vaults, insurance, private banking, highly secretive financial sector). Embodied with both natures of liquidity and stability, Zurich also possesses a unique frequency of ‘floating’ and ‘fixed’, which can be translated as the ‘rate’ of the city. Zurich, the representative city of the Swiss banking industry, is also one of the world’s largest financial centers. It is home to more than 120 banks worldwide, and the efficient and strict confidentiality of the Swiss banking industry makes Zurich the world’s leading offshore banking center. Beyond the obvious banking spectacles, I was curious to see how Switzerland’s geographical features and lingual expressions interact with the financial industry to create such a special financial spectacle. What kind of diverse and different financial perceptions do the local people have in mind? I hope to explore Zurich’s financial industry, geographical features and lingual expressions to find Switzerland’s floating and fixed rate.”

More about Payne Zhu


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