20 x 24 inch Canson Infinity Rag Photographique 310 print
Edition 3 of 5
$1,200 unframed, $1,500 framed
Creating more than 1.8 million products, the city of Yiwu is the global supplier of dollar stores. In Yiwu, the mix of communities, religions, and languages that has followed from the city’s transformation into a global trading hub has given it the reputation as “one of China’s most multicultural cities”. Yiwu’s economy relies heavily on trade and consequently, trade relies on the perception of multiculturalism. Looking to the city of Yiwu as a case study, Means of Exchange questions the reciprocity and perceptions created within an exchange built on the demands of the free market. The series depicts still life displays of products manufactured from Yiwu and imported into Canada. The photographs in this series compile collections of fake flowers, streamers, holiday décor and other small commodities that evoke a loud and familiar dollar store environment.
In North America, the phrase “Made in China” is often used synonymously with “poorly-made” or “mass-produced”, though ironically, the importation of these goods also speaks to the demand for them and their regulation overseas. How are acts of labour devalued when regulated to other countries and made invisible? How does the worldwide circulation of commodities compare as people suffer increasingly restrictive migration policies? The series is a reflection on consumption while examining how objects translate culture and the limitation of understanding through commerce, trade, and mass-produced goods.
Shellie Zhang (b.1991, Beijing) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Tkaronto/Toronto. By uniting both past and present iconography with the techniques of mass communication, language and sign, Zhang’s work deconstructs notions of tradition, gender, diaspora, and popular culture while calling attention to these subjects in the context and construction of multicultural society. She is interested in exploring how integration, diversity and assimilation is implemented and negotiated, how this relates to lived experiences, how culture is learned, relearned and sustained, and how things are remembered and preserved. Zhang’s work has been published in Canadian Art, Toronto Star, Blackflash Magazine, CBC Arts, and C Magazine. Recent and upcoming projects include exhibitions at Artspace (Peterborough), Patel Gallery (Toronto), AKA Artist-Run (Saskatoon) and the Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, Alaska).
SHELLIE ZHANG, 56.82, Means of Exchange Series, 2019
All artwork can be picked-up at Gallery TPW from December 16 - 18, 2020. For shipping and delivery options please contact the gallery directly.