Recipient of the BDS Sculpture Prize.


The Washing, 2022
Muzi li Zhong, The Washing, 2022, performance, 5m long handmade dress, ready-made glass fish tank.

THE  WASHING is an installation that documents a performance in a natural landscape. A daily act of washing and walking but in absurdity, and the tension of vitality. A nihilistic and Sisyphean portrait of life in a repetitive, pointless act. Explore whether individual life can leave its traces on this land within a short century of life.

The Washing, 2022
Muzi li Zhong, The Washing, 2022, performance, 5m long handmade dress, ready-made glass fish tank.

The title Washing comes from a daily act that has been taken for granted since ancient times. The performance of the work breaks the common sense of washing to make dirt clean and presents an absurd conflict with the visual of washing getting darker and darker. Through an act of metaphor and amplification of the sense of meaninglessness arising from the inertia of life. A fish tank is a living object that seems to be less of a basic need. We take this container for water and fish, which are the natural environments that are usually far away from our everyday life scene. I see this container as an object that can hold shapeless things and existence outside of life.

We had to walk and to selectively stay where I was, I had to walk. Walk around, but find that wherever you go, people are always bound by this body and consciousness, and the invisible boundary lies within themselves. Art is not only consciousness and viewpoint that people want to leave in the world that can be viewed by the outside world, but more of an extension of current life, an activity carried out with vitality.

To fill the inner void like a cosmic flood, we find a sense of meaning with the filling of matter and life. I want people to look at the irrationality beneath the bar of repetitive daily behaviour, which would be a salvation from the sense of meaninglessness generated by the trajectory of life. The obsession with the absurd acts is a strong will to live. I want us to see what is taken for granted, what is neglected, and what seems to lack meaning. I believe that nothing is meaningless and that what we define as meaningless only exists relative to a particular value. As to how a void is still somewhere, we don’t have a non-existent place, that is just something we call non-existence, or in a certain system, we decide to leave it outside the circle that we drew. That is what I want to talk about. The meaningless that doesn’t require to be valued by the big machine carries the whole human society turning.

When the documentary images are shown along with the dress and fish tank in the video, one sees a result that is presented in the object. This makes people inevitably realise that something happens and develops, even if the act itself seems to lack purpose and meaning. It is just like a microcosm of life.

The Washing, 2022
Muzi li Zhong, The Washing, 2022, two-channel muted documentation video of a performance, 5m long handmade dress, ready-made glass fish tank.


Perhaps her wandering life since childhood has made her affectionate to all the earth. With a sense of detachment, she looks more sincerely and urgently at everything around her, and thus reflects herself and other individuals. Muzi Li Zhong (b.2000, Beijing, China) is a New Zealand-Chinese artist who is currently based in Melbourne. She is from a minority ethnic group in China, the Yugur. She works in the genre of conceptual art, frequently using the forms of video and performance, as well as sculptural practices. Her works look into everything that human nature experiences, as well as the self, using all different materials to give shape to intangible poetry.

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Muzi li Zhong