Strange Mannequin Marriage (15 photos)

Qiu Zhen just recently finished exhibiting five new photos in his long-standing My Bride and I: Satan's Wedding series at 798 Photo Gallery in Beijing. The five pieces make up a love timeline, from the strange marriage ceremony all the way to the shocking death scene, which represents utter destruction. And the mannequin? In Qui's words, “She represents the male desire for absolute purity, a blank slate where you can pour your passions. In reality she can never be anything more than just a dream.” The images stand as a visual metaphor of our modern society. In fact, look closely and you'll find hidden stories everywhere. As 798 Photo Gallery states, “As a new-generation artist, Qiu Zhen has his own experience of the time we are in, just like every one of us are trying to understand and pursue the questions of who we are, why we are living in this world, and what the meaning of our life is. He responded with vision. He put his own confusion and perception of reality in front of the camera, asking in this world dominated by hazy and desire, where is our destination? The bride is a conveyor; faith is a relief. But emptiness, helplessness, and loss still constitute our inner hurt. Magnificence cannot conceal the weakness of life's meaning; candleholder as a metaphor appears in every picture symbolizing the loss and calamity of our heart's light. The persona and the fake bride, boy and girl, ox head and horse face, and the minister are at the same time absurd and metaphoric. With various details discovered, all kinds of contrasts will show. For example, the minister holds Koran in hand while at the same time wraps a woman under his robe, making a clear metaphor; the cat and the mouse are together provoking our imagination; the pig head covered with honey might as well be a simile of the consumption carnival in reality. The knife hidden under the table, the turtle supporting the table legs, the stars outside the window, the clock on the wall telling the wrong time, the up-side-down picture, the clown before the mirror and the mysterious woman in the mirror, the “children's ” pictorial placard on the wall, the modern cartoon toys, and the fashion magazines, etc are all displaying a contrast between drama and reality. All of these, like a kaleidoscope, become a metaphor of reality, presenting the absurd vision as archeology of knowledge, blurring self identity once and again….”

Qui began the Bride and I series back in 2006, after graduating from the Beijing Film Academy. Qiu pinpoints the tumult and alienation he felt coming to Beijing as the source of his angst.

798 Photo Gallery

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