Stella Diming Zhong
March 25 – April 4, 2016
Opens Friday, March 25, 7-10pm
What is it like when something is about to happen?
So much could flash through your mind in the second between tripping and falling to the ground. You could do the most complicated math calculating the distance from your head to the wall, and the chance of hitting it. Simultaneously, you see an image of a childhood friend diving into a pond. In another instance, a strange doorway appears on a building that you pass by everyday. The first days when you moved into the neighborhood and would blindly stare at the building as you walked to work, or the time when shards of glass from a broken window blocked off the sidewalk – these images all pop up in your head and you still can’t recall if the door was ever there. Where does this imagery reside in you? How does it come to be?
These imminent moments are gaps in actions that only take place in the mind. They are charged with tension, for they are pivotal to what comes next. They are enigmatic, for they come from nowhere and are triggered there and then. They are difficult to apprehend, for anything that arises in the mind can be and become anything. These points in time construct a critical distance between unknowing and knowing. It is a malleable distance which could be stretched and compressed.
Try this. You see a displaced ridge emerging from the smooth tiled wall on the other track in the subway station. Your train arrives and you lose sight of the ridge. Imagine yourself standing on that platform. Imagine closely looking at that strange ridge. Imagine the texture of the matt mosaic. Imagine gliding over the symmetrical grid with your hand. Now place it in another space — a school bathroom, or somewhere you have never been. Rotate it. Bend it. Multiply it. Extend the tiles. Fill the space with water. Watch the droplets dry...
How close can your imagination take you to a thing? And how far can you go with it?
Can we experience something before actually experiencing it?
nigh features precise fragments of non-specific places. They ask to be identified and located without however providing much of a cue. The work exists in a field in which the duration of uncertainty is prolonged, allowing the emergence of potential meanings.
Stella Diming Zhong lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Southern China, she has lived in Beijing, the UK and most recently the US. She received a BFA in Glass from Rhode Island School of Design in 2015. Having grown up internationally, distance and detachment lie at the core of her work. She discovers and constructs peculiar spaces in which the architecture and objects within induce remote and unfamiliar feelings. nigh is Stella’s first solo exhibition in New York.