Leah Zhang works with film, photography, sound and installation. With a background in film studies, her work is a research practice around image and media.  Leah’s work usually involves enormous (onsite) labor and extensive collaboration. Her work discusses the ontology and materiality of image, the subjects and perspectives of looking, the metaphysics of visual transformation and its socio-historical implications. In recent years, Leah has been making work about extraction and alchemy both as a subject and as a thought process.
Leah is a resident artist at de Ateliers. She currently lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

zzixuan811@gmail.com



list of works:
Constellations

In Emptiness there is no Form
BEELD
YUANDAN, 2022
Fossil Morphology
Absolute Purity
The Future Semiotics of A.S.M.R.
I was Born in a Company
Truthful Imaginary
Eyes in Mountains
zzixuan811@gmail.com
+31 647292780


Leah Zhang works with film, photography, sound and installation. With a background in film studies, her work is a research practice around image and media.  Leah’s work usually involves (onsite) labor and extensive collaboration. Her work discusses the ontology and materiality of image, the subjects and perspectives of looking, the metaphysics of visual transformation and its socio-historical implications. In recent years, Leah has been making work about extraction and alchemy both as a subject and as a thought process.

Leah is a resident artist at de Ateliers. She currently lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands.





Absolute Purity 2020
— Silver pieces recovered from the 16mm films of the movie Liu Qiao Er (1956)
— Silver and combined material, 1 x 1.5 inches, 1.7g

Through recovering all the silver in the emulsion of this film, I transform the film from the 1950s, which is a time-based "illusion", to a solid space-based noble metal that lacks a certain degree of purity. The paradoxical thing is, silver belongs to a very different value system from the value system the film supports.
In the 1950s, individual possession of silver products was not allowed in China. The country collects silver from households for manufacturing purposes, which enabled Bao Ding Film Studio to produce the first roll of 16mm film. This communist, large studio system saw an “energetics” of collectivism. In the process of gathering people and resources, a magical, spiritual power also converged, making possible not only the exposure of Liu Qiao Er (1956), but also the “exposure” of Chinese film industry.

However, after many years, as film is now considered an obsolete medium, all the energy from that period is encapsulated in this tiny piece of silver.



Chemical process