About the Photographer
Birdhead (Song Tao and Ji Weiyu)
Chinese, b. 1979 and 1980 Shanghai
Song Tao and Ji Weiyu, established their collaborative named Birdhead in 2004. Both natives of Shanghai, their work is deeply rooted in their hometown and its evolution amid China’s growth into a global power. The duo takes diaristic snapshots, highlighting their everyday lives in the quickly changing city. Individually, the images may seem insignificant and mundane, but collectively they provide a glimpse into the digitally saturated lives of China’s next generation.
Birdhead’s series “Xin Cun,” which translates as “new estate,” was photographed throughout 2006. The series and accompanying book published by 310 Publishing in 2007 and then again in 2010, explores new developments that have been built in Shanghai during the preceding 20-year housing boom. Many of the homes photographed were facing demolition in 2006 for the construction of the 2010 World Expo. The series explores the architecture of the area and the daily lives of those inhabiting the new buildings, many of whom were displaced from their original homes. Known to be compulsive photographers--often showing hundreds of prints at a single exhibition--the artists hope to fully immerse their viewers into their subjects. Birdhead portrays not only a city in transition, but also the youthful, often bewildered generation who will play witness.
Song Tao and Ji Weiyu graduated from the Shanghai Arts and Crafts School in 2000. Their work has been shown in China and internationally. Selected solo shows include: ShanghART, Shanghai, China (2005 and 2008), Paradise Row Gallery, London, U.K. (2012), and EX3 Centro per l’arte Contemporanea, Florence, Italy (2011). Selected group shows include: Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2013), The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012); The 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2011); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China (2008). Their work is held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York and The Tate, London, U.K. among others.