Pandora’s Armpits (2021)
Yifan Zhou is an artist from China studying MA Photography at Kingston School of Art. Her work explores her own life experience and cultural environment. In Pandora’s Armpits, Zhou employs photomontage and collage combined with drawings and illustration to create imaginative colourful images meditating on her deeply personal relation with the world.
One of the recurrent elements in the work are images of armpits. For Zhou, the armpit is something that needs to be hidden. For her it is an intensely private and sacred part of the body that should never be shown in public. Using this as her starting point she has developed a series of montages that suggest that the armpit when opened is akin to a Pandora’s box. According to the myth, Pandora opened a jar left in her care, containing sickness, death, and many other unspecified evils which were then released into the world. Though she hastened to close the container and left behind was either hope, or the pessimistic translation deceptive expectation.
Working alone in her flat, far from home, Zhou grapples with her isolation, and an uncertain world. However, this relatively independent space also brings her inspiration and creativity.