Noah Zhou is a visual artist, writer, and educator based in New York City. Working across a variety of mediums, he examines the conditions of contemporary anti-Asian racism and how it is contained within historical formations of the Asian American identity politic. Zhou’s recent series of monumental paintings incorporate archival print materials beneath heavily textured surfaces to suggest alternative lineages– refusing the historical uniformity and artistic canons that have overproduced Asian pain stories under the guise of representation.
Currently, Zhou is developing a gaming entertainment system that synthesizes influences from arcade fighters, military strategy games, dating simulators, first-person shooters, and other forms of interactive digital media. Playfully titled “gameboycolor,” the experience offers written and spoken word alongside footage of video games set in American military invasions of East Asia, including both real and imagined wars. The work challenges society’s unspoken understanding that falsely holds acceptance and protection from the nation-state as justifications or outcomes of violence. Zhou’s video works use opacity and metaphor to obscure real-world phenomena, simultaneously revealing and concealing personal narrative.
Zhou’s practice refuses the oppressive logics of imperialism, colonialism, patriarchy, carcerality, and other forms of domination while exploring new notions of futurity. On top of sustaining a creative practice, he works as an educator and advocates for social justice through writing and community activism. Zhou’s writing engages a variety of subjects including institutional critique, expansion of the carceral state, and underlying xenophobia within online news media. Zhou received his teaching certification at the University of Vermont and is currently completing his MFA at the Parsons School of Design.