Chen Zhen: Purification Room, 2000

As part of Galleria Continua Paris’ exhibition Chen Zhen: Double Exil the gallery presents one of Chen Zhen’s major works the Purification Room. The installation, which occupies the last room, presents a monochromatic domestic environment in which the walls, floor, furniture and objects are covered in a thick layer of clay. This natural element can be used to perform a rite of transition and purification, in order to enter into a new existence at the end of the cycle of life. Visitors are invited to meditate and become aware of their own spirituality and bodies, in order to rediscover their balance with nature and contemporary society. The exhibition at Galleria Continua’s space at 87 rue du Temple runs until January 24, 2023.

Official description: The artwork is a room in which the walls and all objects are covered with a laver of monochromatic clay. By using the organic process of sedimentation, Chen Zhen employs clay, a natural element, as a substa]nce capable of purifying the world and preserving the present. Created in the year of Chen Zhen’s death, Purification Room is the final piece in a series produced since 1991 using the same technique. The theme of purification is consistently present in the artist’s practice, exploring the possibility of cleansing humanity and purifying the world. “Instead of digging for past objects, as archaeologists do, my work, on the contrary, shows people today’s objects as they will be discovered in the future, the artist explained. He also commented on this work, stating: “The work is a kind of monochromalic tomb’ that performs a rite of transition and purification, disinfecting objects and giving them a new life. A new life. It’s also an obsessive question: can one disinfect man and purify the world?”

Chen Zhen: Purification Room, 2000. Galleria Continua Paris, October 20, 2023.

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