He Zike: Before the Fireplace Goes Out, a Dream Drops by Air

2023.01.06 Friday 19:00


2F, The Cloister Apartments, 62 West Fuxing Road, Shanghai

Speaker:He Zike

Time:2023/1/6 19:00-20:30

It was the first winter after the completion of Route Gustare de Boissenzon, a Spanish-style apartment at No. 62. The fire has just been started, and guests are taking their seats in the salon of Mrs. Chester Fritz's new residence in the Cloister.  Outside the windows, under the streetlights, are the shadows of trees and pedestrians on a winter night. The situation was still relatively stable, and people in the streets and alleys could still live and talk with ease.

Among them, there is a young lady. She, too, is sitting in one of these parlors, sharing her thoughts, or being talked about at some other gathering. At this time, on the eve of weekends and school Christmas holidays, she may also be on the road, at the store or at home, spending some leisure time with family and friends. She lived two kilometers away on Moulmein Road (now Maoming North Road), which was also part of the French Concession, and later moved to Avenue Joffre (now Middle Huaihai Road), a block away. Her Chinese name, Tang Heng, represents a kind of beautiful jade, while her English name, Celia, means "heaven" in Latin etymology. As a queen graduate from the Baptist Anchor Girls' High School, a model of the Monthly card, a representative of the New Woman and a freshman in business management at the University of Shanghai, her photos and anecdotes were published in several issues of different newspapers and magazines. For many people, photography is an elusive novelty, but she already owned a brand new folding camera and was a faithful reader and contributor to the new photography publication " Pictorial of the Photographic Society of China " (Pictorial or Photo Pictorial). She has also been called a "photographer" by newspaper dignitaries Ge Gongzhen.

In two weeks, it will be her twenty-second birthday. Everything seemed to have just begun. However, she disappeared from the media thereafter.

 In 1934, a writer, inspired by Mrs. Chester Fritz's salon, wrote the middle-grade novel "Madame de Salon", which tells how a college girl goes from campus queen and "new woman" to being shaped step by step by her lover who is a professor to become a remarkable salon mistress in the Shanghai social scene, namely the Madame de Salon.

In the parallel world, Tang Heng, one of the well-known Shanghai belles, fades out of the limelight. In the torrent of intense society and history, she went on to another life until 2000, when she died at her home 1,800 kilometers away from Shanghai.

Now, we will return to this old parlor again for another late-winter evening gathering, diving into the passage of the medium from between light and shadow, pixels and words, revisiting 1930 almost a century ago, and the old dreams of this lady annihilated in the dust of time and drops by air.

About the Speaker

Artist, born in Guiyang, Guizhou in 1990. She is concerned with machine intelligence, virtual reality, cloud storage, memory, infrastructure, and deep time, and has been exploring storytelling and narration..

Her childhood memories include an old house with an abandoned fireplace and a great-grandmother who suffered from Alzheimer's but could read English, and in 2020, during a short trip to Shanghai, she stumbled upon the lost pieces of this forgotten past. To this day, the work of collecting and organizing is still ongoing.

HE Zike’s works have been exhibited at Shanghai Chronus Art Center, Shanghai OCAT, and Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing in the media of video, writing, installation and programming.

About the Guest Speaker

Ag is a writer born in Shanghai in 1985. Ag mainly works around short stories, commentaries, journal, also involves in curating exhibitions and directing films. Her books include The Boundless Bedroom, Shanghai Geographical Notes, Abyss Simulator, Night Watch.

About the Vortex

Vortex is a long-term project. We will update the content of performance lectures by artists and talks by experts both on- and offline. Following the fundamental approach of connecting local practice, theories, and context, we hope that this nonstandard art venue will become a place of torrents, flux, and confluence.

The Macalline Center of Art (MACA) is a non-profit art institution located in the 798 Art District of Beijing and officially inaugurated its space on January 15, 2022. Occupying a two-story building with a total area of 900 square meters, MACA unites artists, curators, and other art and cultural practitioners from around the world. Through its diverse, ongoing, and collaborative approaches, the Center establishes a new site on the contemporary art scene. Guided by the “work of artists” and backed by interdisciplinary research, the Center aims to bring together a community passionate about art and devoted to the “contemporary” moment so as to respond proactively to our rapidly evolving times.