Xiaowen Zhu is a documentary filmmaker, media artist, curator and writer. Described as a visual poet, social critic, and aesthetic researcher, she uses video, photography, performance, installation and mixed media as platforms to communicate the complex experience of being an international person and to wrestle with the notion of a disembodied identity.
Born and raised in Shanghai, Zhu is currently based in London, UK. She is the receipient of the TASML Artist Residency Award, the Marylyn Ginsburg Klaus Post-MFA Fellowship, and the Jury Award of DOK Munich. She was an artist-in-residence at ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany; and V2_Institute for the Unstable Media, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She is a mentor of the British Film Institute Film Academy, a member of the Los Angeles Art Association, and formerly a Visiting Professor of Media Art at Syracuse University, and at Marymount College in USA. Zhu received her MFA in Art Video from Syracuse University, USA; and BA in Film, TV Production & Media Art from Tongji University, China.
Zhu’s work has been widely shown internationally at Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum (Beijing China), Chronus Art Center (Shanghai, China), Art Basel Hongkong, ZKM | Center for Art and Media (Karlsruhe, Germany), V2_Institute for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), ISEA2011 (Istanbul, Turkey), Dumbo Arts Center (New York, USA), Videonale (Berlin, Germany), Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, USA), Los Angeles Art Association (Los Angeles, USA), Venice Arts Gallery (Los Angeles, USA), Strozzina Art Space (Florence,Italy), Sainsbury Center for Visual Arts (Norwich, UK), Toronto Urban Film Festival (Toronto, Canada), DOK Munich (Munich, Germany), Film Winter (Stuttgart, Germany), Athens Video Art Festival (Athens, Greece), K3 Film Festival (Austria), Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse, USA), Shanghai eArts Festival (Shanghai, China) and more.
Oriental Silk is an exploration the world of Kenneth Wong, owner of the first silk importing company in Los Angeles. As he goes through the daily routine in his store, we hear about his parents, first-generation Chinese immigrants, who realized the American dream through the store. The once legendary store’s fortunes rose with the Hollywood industry, then fell with the proliferation of cheaper silk in the new global economy. As the caretaker of the family legacy, Kenneth Wong talks about his deep feelings for the shop, its history, and its future.