Hongtao Zhou
Reconstituted: MFA Exhibition by Hongtao Zhou
When the school years drawing to a close, articles for daily use also start to over flow the dumpsters and go everywhere alone the streets during the moving season. Millions of chairs, lamps, cloth and cooking wares were abandoned and most of them end up in massive landfill.
This project started by saving chairs from dumpsters during the moving seasons in Madison, Wisconsin. Broken chairs were reconstructed into bullheads by using their parts organically. They demonstrate the cruel reality human generated: we are no longer a part of our eco system. We are destroying the environment and in effect, consuming life.
I admire the material freedom and plenty of this culture, but am also dismayed by the cost of such freedom: rainforest and species extinction, massive landfill and garbage patches, CO2 emission and ice cover shrinkage. Beyond environmental damage, our life style negatively impacts the social, political, and economic ethos both here and abroad: wars fought over resources, unfair labor practices, modern slavery and human trafficking, animal rights issues, drug battles.
We may not recognize them in front of us every day, but we have untold connections throughout our lives patterned by our daily consumption of products. The cowboy is a symbolic image of America; almost everyone the world over now regards the cowboy as a role model. People want to achieve this materialized American dream in China, India, Brazil and so many other countries. I believe everyone has the right to dream, but if this is not a mode of sustainability environmentally, morally, or economically. We must change.

Solo Exhibition: Reconstituted
By Hongtao Zhou
Memorial Union Porter Butts Gallery
800 Langdon Street, Madison, Wisconsin. May 6 – 24, 2011