Lin Zhipeng (林志鹏), aka 223

Lin Zhipeng(aka No.223) Born in Guangdong, China in 1979, Graduated from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies with major of financial English. Lin Zhipeng is a photographer and freelancer writer based in Beijing. Created in 2003, his blog “North Latitude 23” where he published everyday pictures accompanied by short texts received millions views and made him famous among the web community. Presented for ten years in group exhibitions in China and abroad , Lin’s works have also been the object of several solo shows both nationally and internationally (Walther Collection Ulm ; De Sarthe Gallery Beijing ; Stieglitz19 Gallery Antwerp ; M97 Gallery Shanghai; Delaware Contemporary Museum, etc). He has published photography books in Taiwan, France, Canada and Japan.

Lin is a leading figure of new Chinese photography emerging in the last decade, popularizing his work originally via social media and other online platforms as well as his self-published zines. Lin’s work has come to reflect and define a certain zeitgeist of the post-80’s and 90’s generation of non-mainstream Chinese youth. Amidst an otherwise conservative and often closed traditional society and cultural background, Lin’s photographs act as a collective not-so-private diary of a young generation wishing to escape the pressures from a high-stakes society and play within its limits. Faded flowers tangled with flesh tones, myriad patterns mixing with an emotional ambiguity of both love and chaos, fantasy and eroticism. 223’s works are saturated with a soft sense of carefreeness, a playful innocence, and a certain optimism amidst a hedonist lifestyle going against the expected pleasures and entrapments of the middle class dream.

Naming himself “No. 223” after the police character in Wong Kar-Wai’s movie Chungking Express, Lin also adopts a sense of the Hong Kong director’s poetic and dreamy atmosphere as well as the loneliness and mystery of many of his film’s characters. Lin Zhipeng offers his point of view on an alternative youth spirit and culture in an often conservatively Chinese cultural context. His spontaneous photographs portray a young generation who indulge in love and life, oscillating between jubilation and deep melancholy, playful sexuality and often just the simple human need to be loved in an otherwise indifferent and ever-changing society.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2019
Amphibian Relationships 两栖关系 - No.223@The Delaware Contemporary, Delaware (USA)
No.223@Akio Nagasawa Gallery Aoyama, Tokyo (Japan)
No.223@The Walther Collection feats Then And Now, The Walther Collection, Neu Ulm (Germany)
No.223@in)(between, in)(between Gallery, Paris (France)

2018
No.223@Grand Amour, Grand Amour Hotel, Paris (France)
223@Stieglitz19, Stieglitz19 Gallery, Antwerp (Belgium)

2017
No.223@M97, M97 Gallery, Shanghai (China)

2016
No.223, de Sarthe Beijing Gallery, Beijing (China)
Hidden Track, Stieglitz19 Gallery, Antwerp (Belgium)

2014
223, Loppis Galleria, Parma (Italy)
青红皂白 Velvet Pogo, Kui Yuan Gallery, Guangzhou (China)

2013
蜜桃 The Peaches, ATTIC, Taipei (Taiwan)

2008
我派对 Me Party, Songzhuang Art Museum, Beijing (China)
时光成分 Composition In Time, GZOP Lab, Guangzhou (China)

Selected Group Exhibitions

2019
I AM (AT WAR) IN LOVE WITH THE OBVIOUS, The Address Gallery, Brescia (Italy)
Chinese Spring Part 4, Stieglitz19 Gallery, Antwerp (Belgium)

2018
EL CUERPO REINTERPRETADO, NUE Gallerie, Valencia (Spain)
十方 Ten Directions: 三影堂摄影奖十周年特展 The 10th Anniversary Exhibition of The Three Shadows Photography Award,Three Shadows Photography Art Center, Beijing (China)
Chinese Spring #3, Stieglitz19 Gallery,Antwerp (Belgium)
知尚 A nous la mode! , Temple Beijing / Bailian Centre Shanghai / Three Shadows Xiamen / Chengdu Museum (China)

2017
世界切片 The World Section, Xi'an Art Museum, Xi'an (China)
PHOTOSYNTHESIS, M97 Gallery, Shanghai (China)
诗 Poem, Zhong Gallery, Beijing (China)

2016
遇见森山大道 Meet Daido Moriyama, Aoman Space, Beijing (China)
坦白·猝不及防的九场自拍实验 Illuminate Your Beauty, UCCA, Beijing (China)
BredaPhoto International Photofestival, Breda (Netherlands)

2015
Teetering at The Edge of The World-Reading the Chinese Contemporary, Espacio de Arte Contemporeáno (EAC), Montevideo (Uruguay)
This is not China anymore, GuatePhoto International Photography Festival, Antigua (Guatemala)
图像新潮 Coming Image, curated by LEAP, Photo shanghai (China)
首届长江国际影像双年展 Changjiang International Image Biennale, Chongqing (China)

2014
Collab#1 curated by Now&Them, The Gallery,Shanghai (China)
No.223, 10th Lianzhou International Photography Festival, Lianzhou (China)
XXX, BANK Gallery, Shanghai (China)
Chinese spring #2, Stieglitz19 Gallery, Antwerp (Belgium)

2013
Unseen Photo Fair, Amsterdam (Netherlands)
不合作方式2 FUCK OFF 2, Groninger Museum (Netherlands)
Exposure, London Gallery West (UK)
平等的关系 Equal Relationships, Blindspot Gallery, Hongkong.

2012
宓爱 Secret Love,OSTASIATISKA MUSEET Skeppsholmen (Sweden)
每一天 Everyday, Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai (China)
Unspecified Urban Site, RH Gallery, NewYork (USA)
ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE, White Gloss Gallery. Los Angels (USA)
I have also other favorites, Stacion Gallery, Prishtina (Turkish)

2011
蚯蚓-连州国际摄影节 Earthworm, Lianzhou Foto 2011 (China)
白痴 dAfT,Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai (China)
Chinese Spring #1, Stieglitz19 Gallery, Antwerp (Belgium)
Boys' Little World,ZEN FOTO Gallery,Tokyo (Japan)
一重影事 Recurrent Shadows, Hexiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen (China)
万相 MYRIAD VISIONS, Three Shadows Photography Art Center, Beijing (China)
Art Amsterdam 2011 (Netherlands)
GTZ Photography Workshop 2011, Berlin, (Germany)

2010
5PRCITY, United Nude Miami, Miami (USA)
Get It Louder Exhibition, touring exhibition, venues in Shanghai & Beijing (China)
首届集美国际当代艺术节 The First International Contemporary Art Festival of China Jimei, Xiamen (China)
草场地摄影季 Caochangdi Photo Spring 2010: ARLES IN BEIJING, Beijing (China)
Box II: The Cruelty of Youth, White Space Collection, New York City (USA)

2009
LINEART Fair at Flanders Expo Gent (Belgium)
China Now –The Edge of Desire, Max Lang, New York (USA)
我,我见 I, I SEE- Southern Pocket Film festival, Guangzhou (China)

2008
连州国际摄影节 Youth Appearance, 4th Lianzhou International Photography Festival, Lianzhou (China)
变形记 Metamorphosis, Art Scene China, Shanghai (China)
潜活:公寓日志 Hidden Life: Apartment Diary, Lin & Keng Gallery, Beijing (China)
FotoGrafia International Festival, Rome (Italy)
New Photography In China, City Festival (Hong Kong)

2007
抽样 Sampling: Chinese Young Photographers, Potential Gallery, Beijing (China)
刷新 Refresh: Emerging Chinese Artists, touring exhibition, ZendaiMoMA, Shanghai, China; ARARIO Gallery, Beijing (China)
Get It Louder Exhibition, touring exhibition, venues in Guangzhou, Shanghai & Beijing (China)

2006
自私-连州国际摄影节 Selfhood – Absent Minded , First Lianzhou International Photography (China)

2005
平遥国际摄影节 Five New Generation Photographers, Pingyao International Photography Festival, Pingyao (China)

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Bibliography

My Private Broadway-223's photobook 2, self published, Guangzhou, 2006
John Millichap (ed), 3030: New Photography in China, 3030 Press, Hong Kong, 2006
Jifan Wong & Cong, I like the city with a bit distance, Rice magazine, Guangzhou, July 2006
Joe Magliaro, ‘223’, Theme Magazine, New York, issue 11, fall, 2007
Cynthia, ‘Creative Forces in Beijing’, Milk, Hongkong, August, 2008
Xu Jinglei, ‘Lin Zhipeng Q&A’, Wallpaper.com, September 25, 2008
Sarah Fakray, ‘New faces of Beijing’, Dazed&Confused, London, December, 2008
Nicki Xiao, ‘The Third Eye on Fashion’, Design 360°, Hong Kong, N.20, March 2009
Pinko, ‘Adolescence is the most creative periods’, The Outlook Magazine, China, July 2010
My Private Broadway-223's Photobook 3, Self Published, Beijing, 2011
Mino, 'Intimate Bodies Through Lens, Surface, China, June 2011
Tristan Chen, "22.3 questions about No.223", Fashion China, China, Nov.2011
Versatile#1, Self-published, Beijing, April 2012
223, From China With Love, Bare Bones, London, Issue 9, 2012
No.223, Published by Revolution-star, Taiwan, May 2012
Travis, The Simple Connection between Photography And Sexual, PPAPER, Taiwan, June 2012
Lili Chien, Artist's Show Case: No.223, Voices Of Photography, Taiwan, Jul/Aug 2012
Satellite of Love - No.223, Published by Guangming Daily Press, Beijing, 2012
Sun Huiting, Imagination, Beijing, 2013
Ubies, Asian Creatives, PIE International Inc. Tokyo, 2013
(Documentary) Emma Tassy, LA CHINE DANS L'OBJECTIF, ARTE France, 2013
(Documentary) China Through The Lens of Youth, NHK Japan, 2014
Versatile#2, Self-published, Beijing, April 2014
GUP#43, Netherlands, 2014.
Genda#1, a+mbookstore edizioni, Italy, 2016
Snoecks 2016, Snoecks nv, Belgium, 2016
ExtraExtra#7, Netherlands, 2016
Hidden Track - No.223, Published by Editions Bessard Press, France, 2016
In Our Secret Life - No.223, Published by Hunan Literature & Art Press, 2016
Sour Strawberries - No.223, Published by Editions Bessard Press, France, 2018
Flowers and Fruits - No.223, Published by T&M Projects, Japan, 2019

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Lin, a former magazine editor at Guangzhou’s entertainment tabloid Modern Weekly, named himself “No. 223” after the lovelorn cop played by Takeshi Kaneshiro in Wong Kar-wai’s cult classicChungking Express. A voracity for international fashion mags led No. 223 to begin snapping his own portraits, turning a Lomo on his circle of friends. Their friendship and desire to see themselves as a part of a global youth culture allowed Lin to capture images that would have been difficult to imagine coming out of China in the not-too-distant past. “A lot of my friends do creative things, so they are probably more open than most. This allows me to photograph them the way I do. They understand what I’m doing,” says Lin.
Magliaro, Joe, ‘223’, Theme Magazine, New York, issue 11, fall, 2007

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“Lin’s works typically have a rough-and-ready feel in which photographic technique is frequently neglected for the sake of compelling immediacy. His subjects seem content to reject all responsibility in pursuit of all-night parties and fashionable indolence.”
Ou Ning, “New Photography and the Media Industry in Guangzhou” in John Millichap, ed., 3030: New Photography in China (Hong Kong: 3030 Press, 2006)

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“Lin’s Works vividly reveal the milieu of the present young generation, which is characterized with a kind of imaginary and whimsical self-entertainment. This is a state of life characterized with consumption, in which they consume both fashion and themselves. He likes to snap the “primary beauty”. This highlighted sense of existential beauty of consuming and being consumed, detached from traditional culture and social common value, is both personal and international – like the web, which is both exhilarating and horrifying.”
Li Xianting, Me Party, exhibition catalogue, Songzhuang Art Museum, Beijing, July, 2008.

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归纳出223的作品主题是:私人派对snap shot,朋友之间刻意的凹造型,富电影剧照感的pose与个别躯体特写。在这些照片之中,“演出”的成分极高,被摄者似乎都有渴望被拍的意识,并且会随 手拈来不同的现实道具。顾铮曾评价223的作品没有“通过摄影区别自己与他人的野心”,欧宁则评价“他们不太关心外面的世界,只是沉溺在自我的放纵里,甚 至有一点点反智的倾向”。但无论如何,他们都不能否定223的重要性。
李照兴,《潮爆中国》,香港,2008
Bono Lee, Chic China Chic, Hong Kong, 2008

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223’s works explore the new Chinese way of life, allowing the viewer a personal look inside the homes and hang-out spots of teenagers and young adults as they song, smoke, shower, get stoned or brush their teeth. Sometimes they’re naked, still something of a taboo here, but because No.223 self-publishes his photo book, he can fill them with whatever he likes.
Sarah Fakray , “New faces of Beijing”, Dazed&Confused Magazine, London, Issue Dec.2008

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Lin’s works, talk about the story about young, or should say about emotion. Emotion to a thing, to a person, to a story, brings out the inspiration, and directs his photographing motif. Technique is always behind. The key is the real feeling. If not being loved of doing one thing, one can only make it incondite and apathetic.
Nicki Xiao, “The Third “Eye” On Fashion”, Design 360° Magazine, Hong Kong, N.20, March 2009

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Blissfully young and tragically hip, 223 renders visible China’s seductive spaces of pain and pleasure and cool. The saturated colors and glistening bodies, inturn,map the dreamscape of a generation.
JamesValice,艺术界LEAP, April 2011

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I was taken by the work of Lin Zhipeng, a Chinese photographer who goes under the name No 223, and whose edgy, often erotic work is continually censored by the authorities. A former gas works housed a strange selection of undiscovered images, from sexy Chinese art censored by the authorities to a reworked West Side Story.
Sean O'Hagan, "A window on weird: step inside the Unseen Photo fair in Amsterdam" , theguardian.com, 2 Oct. 2013

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Lin Zhipeng's controversial subjects — exposed bodies, pubic hair, naked lovers intertwined — are censored in his native China, and challenge sexual taboo through their hedonistic liberation.
Harriet Shepherd, SLEEK, 28 Aug. 2018

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In disseminating these images online, Lin Zhipeng established an ever-expanding audience, which gravitated towards his alluring portrayals of seductively — cool — and largely hidden — Chinese youth culture.
Unseen Magazine Issue 5, 2018

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Revigorante et touchante, jamais dramatique, la photographie de Lin est pure émotion. Illuminée par un flash pénétrant, la nudité de ses sujets révèle à la fois leur émancipation et leur vulnérabilité. Lin ne planifie jamais ses séances, laissant place à la spontanéité et à l’improvisation.
Vanessa Humphries, Artistik Rezo, 8 Nov. 2018