eportfolio



Matthew Greaves and Tianji Zhou. 'Bike Shed', 2014-present, interviews, reportage, and factory refurbishments at Bernard Controls’ manufacturing plant, Beijing, PRC.


Extract from A Lexicon for Open Fields of Exchange: On the Language and Dynamics of Researching Towards a Social Sensibility by Zandie Brockett with Alessandro Rolandi:

"In [Social Sensibility Research and Development] projects No. 27 and No. 35, Tianji Zhao worked together with Australian artist Matthew Greaves to improve recreational common spaces for factory workers [at Bernard Controls' Beijing plant]. By turning a bike shed into a tearoom that served as a site for conversations with all factory employees during the summer months, the artists provided a physical, open field, or a commons, in which agents could gather, smoke cigarettes and discuss topics of their choice. It is in these discussions that various codes and boundaries imbedded in the working environment were unveiled. Such work [...] strives to create a space where hierarchies and rules are temporarily suspended. Of course, as with the proverbial 'water cooler', the possibility for more fluid social interactions does not imply the complete dissolution of power structures. Nevertheless, the Zhao and Greaves tearoom remains a site more open than others in the factory to fluctuate between coded interactions on the one hand and greater neutrality and spontaneity on the other."


Excerpt from Zheng Bo's online course 'Discovering Socially Engaged Art in Contemporary China',
City University of Hong Kong. Video viewable here.




Matthew Greaves and Tianji Zhou. 'Bike Shed', 2014-present, interviews, reportage, and factory refurbishments at Bernard Controls’ manufacturing plant, Beijing, PRC.
Image taken from Instagram post c. 2017.


This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council,
its arts funding and advisory body.

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