Birdhead, a celebrated collective comprised of Ji Weiyu and Song Tao, is known for snapshot-like photographs of everyday life unfolding in Shanghai. Occasionally, the artists insert themselves and their friends into the scenes, which are individually insignificant, but collectively lend insight into what makes Shanghai, the representative Chinese metropolis, tick. Lending a philosophical quality to the work, Birdhead photographs Chinese characters they encounter around the city, that are “either still repeatedly in use or are almost obsolete in contemporary life,” and collage them into classical poems. “What is important are the links that are produced through the juxtaposition of the significance of the poetry and the significance of the photographs that we constantly take of people in our physical environments, and the atmospheres that they each establish,” the pair says.
Chinese, Founded 2004, based in Shanghai, China