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Past and Future Observer
Shu Cao 曹澍


This series of works are based on the principle of human binocular stereo imaging. The author simulates the viewing distance of both eyes and makes shooting and viewing equipment, so that the audience can experience the simultaneous observation of "past" and "future": the works deconstruct the physical binary structure of human eyes at the historical level, and the intentions of left and right, red and blue, perspective vanishing point and so on. In the different interpretation systems of scientific, politics and religion, tension networks have been set up respectively. The author's solo exhibition "Go to Rome" based on the historical events of missionary boumeg is generated and launched in such a relationship network.

In front of the observer, the audience can rely on the focus of their own eyes to make two separated people hug together. When closing their right eyes, they will see the person on the left, and when closing their left eyes, they will see the person on the right. There is a slow process of focusing the audience's eyes. The effect of the process is that the two people slowly approach each other.

In another device,at the last minute of the day, the hands of the clock will never reach 12 o'clock. When the audience close the right eye, the past will be seen. When closing the left eye, the future will be seen. When open both eyes, they will see the three-dimensional present.


CAO Shu (b. 1987, Shandong Province, China) lives and works in Hangzhou, China, teaching at China Academy of Arts. His working interfaces include but are not limited to, 3D digital moving image and interactive games. Cao Shu often constructs narration in a restrained way, offering the audience a new perspective of things, and through his practice,a multi-branched network of meanings is formed. His works are often based on a specific place and ask open-ended questions. He hopes to reactivate historical events or personal memory at the perceptual level through experiments with different materials and media. In addition, he is also interested in the notions misreading and dislocation based on different cultural and technological environments in history. In recent years, Cao Shu has been residency artist at Atelier Mondial in Basel(2017), Yokohama Koganecho Bazzaar Art Festival (2019),Goethe Institutes(2020). His works have won such awards as 2022 OCAT x KADIST Emerging Media Artist Award,2021 Exposure Award of PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai, 2015 New Narrative Award from the Long Week of Short Films, and 2017 BISFF Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement. Recent solo exhibitions include Cao Shu Solo Exhibition-GO TO ROME, B1OCK@Ooeli, Hangzhou, China;The Ocean of Solaris, Zhejiang Art Museum, Hangzhou, China, 2019;Flux, Shanghai Tech University, Shanghai, China; Solo Program-Monster outside the windows, Koganecho, Yokohama, Japan, 2019; His works has been exhibited in art Museums around the world,such as Kunsthausbaselland, UCCA Dune,Macao Art Museum,Beijing Minsheng Art Museum,OCAT Shanghai and Shenzhen,Sleep Center New York,Die Sammlung Falckenberg Hall Hamburg. Works are collected by Kadist Art Foundation, Australian White Rabbit Art Gellary, Blue Mountain Contemporary Art Foundation, Zhejiang Art Museum, etc.