NICOLAS ZHU

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Detail1Behind Psychology
Detail1Behind Psychology

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Curatorial Rationale

Psychology

Psychology permeates every conscious and subconscious action we take. The works in my exhibition are centred around psychology and neuroscience. Throughout high school, I began noticing links to psychology in subjects such as the concept of free will in ethics; influences of supply and demand in economics and even in history when we discussed Hitler and Mussolini's psychological motivation behind totalitarianism. Its interdisciplinary nature gives me the freedom to explore a wide range of artistic concepts and media.

I wanted to capture the depth and complexity of the human mind in my artworks. I strived for a global approach, capturing the human consciousness from various angles including mental disorders, the medical practises, and the anatomical biology.

Yayoi Kusama’s installations uses 2-dimensional as well as 3-dimensional elements to produce an engaging experience. What also intrigued me about her artworks is the psychological influence, which she expresses as her early-life trauma and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) continue to influence her. This inspired my idea to create a 2-D mural and 3-D cube for my installation “16.67%”.German Artist, Käthe Kollwitz’ dark yet moving prints also inspired individual paintings within my exhibition. The hourglass for “Thank you for your time Doctor!” was challenging as I was confronted with new materials such as wooden plates and plexiglass. The last artwork was inspired by contemporary printmaker Ralph Steeds, who uses multiple media and symbolism to achieve an almost surrealistic result. I decided to present “Behind Psychology” by hanging it with wooden clamps, resembling the process of a drying print.

The placement of the hanging cube is intended to grab viewers’ attention first and introduce my exhibition with “16.67%”. Next to it, I explore another perspective and delve into the biological aspect with “Medical Report and Investigation”. Since the main contributor here is the brain, I use MRI scans of healthy and Alzheimer Disease (AD) brains, using different media for different purposes. The prints depicting the missing brain mass of AD patients is a play on Rorschach inkblots as they also have a vertical line of symmetry. “Thank you for your time Doctor!” shows yet another angle of psychology as it deals with modern therapy and criticizes its money-driven nature. My exhibition ends with “Behind Psychology” consisting of a variety of visual elements . It is purposefully ambiguous in nature so viewers can interpret it individually and should impart viewers with a final matter to ponder on.