A gif of the exhibition title, Ambrosia, in Hoss Sharp with various glyphs and images shuffling and replacing random letters in the word.

Zhiyu Zhu

A glyph of a paintbrush.

Niu Gui She Shen (Cattle Ghost Snake God)

I found myself constantly filled with anxiety and disappointment and an indescribable fear of the world, or to be more precise: human nature. At the same time, I deeply love all horror art. I wanted to express horror in my own way. Based on these, I did a series of researches and investigations. I narrowed my attention to Chinese style horror and studied related works of different forms, and found that how people's horror psychology always interact with social, cultural, and historical circumstances, and how it reflects the phenomenon that can be called “badness” and is avoided by people.

I came up with the term Niugui Sheshen(Cattle Ghost Snake God), which has long been used in China to refer to all kinds of evil, ugly things and bad people. Also, during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, it was used to refer to any hostile group that needed to be defeated. In my opinion, the theology of its literal meaning, the hatred expressed in its semantic meaning, and the historicity of its use in historical events well represent all the knowledge I have learned in my research, as well as my reflection and uneasy feelings about “badness” that I want to express. So I decided to break down the four words in the term and visually represent four kinds of “badness” in society in my eyes. And design.

The background of the image is a rusty, blurry texture, a mixture of black and dark red.  Four very light gray bluish and purplish white, bold, brush fonts, Chinese characters which with the same texture as background, are titled:Niu Gui She Shen, occupying the bottom half of the image. On the upper right of the title, there is a smaller English translation subtitle with the same font in all caps said: Cattle Ghost Snake God.
Handwritten signature from Zhiyu Zhu in dark blue.

she/her