A conversation with SHADOWS
Tianli Zu site-specific installation of 17 units of hand-cut acetate film and four channel video projections with music by composer Andrew Zhou commissioned for The Cube at Mosman Art Gallery.
Transforming a space to give viewers an immerse experience, ‘A conversation with SHADOWS’ is a site-specific installation of 17 units of hand-cut acetate film and four channel video projections by Chinese-Australian multimedia artist Tianli Zu with music by composer Andrew Zhou commissioned for The Cube at Mosman Art Gallery.
While shadow suggests an intangible, invisible non-object, it reveals its object’s appearance in space and time. The sharp or elusive shadow form is respected as a real existence although it is an ephemeral, untouchable, and ungraspable non-form.
Shadow as a metaphor reflects one’s unconsciousness embedded with extremely abstract metaphysical concepts. ‘A conversation with SHADOWS’ intends to see out loud, interrogating the conflicts between desires and abandonments.
In a society, shadow is often seen as the negative energy, unwanted, repressed, therefore, a result of suppression and rejection. However, it is a negative aspect of the yin-yang dualism – one will not prevail over the other.
Shadow possesses power by moving from dark to light spontaneously: it provokes chance that is beyond one’s control to attain everlasting existence (known as transcendence).

On Chance:
‘Chance, or coincidence in Taoist terms, emphasizes preexistence within space. It means that once you have achieved something by ‘chance’ you have reached a unity, because there is no distinction between here and there, you and the object. It is simultaneous occurrence and existence.’ – Tianli Zu

On music:
‘No matter how long the viewer chooses to experience the work for, there is some feeling or sensation that can be awakened which music has suspended in time. There are indefinite sounds that may be unfamiliar, but, given time and space, organically shape-shift and unfold. Sounds that surround our everyday lives take on forms that nature does not permit, but only the imagination can.’ – Andrew Zhou

A short film by Maximilian Homaei, music by Andrew Zhou is showing at The Cube, Mosman Art Gallery in conjunction with Tianli Zu exhibition.


11 September –17 November 2019
Mosman Art Gallery, Mosman NSW Australia