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Tintype Gallery Presents Xiaowen Zhu's New Work

8 December – 13 January

Still of Brief Encounters on the Milky Way (2017), Xiaowen Zhu, HD video, 05:00

ESSEX ROAD IV – eight contemporary artists interpret a very particular part of London.

Edwina Ashton

Chloe Dewe Matthews

Benedict Drew

Judith Goddard

Matthew Noel-Tod

Paul Tarragó

Richard Wentworth

Xiaowen Zhu

Now in its fourth year, Tintype’s Essex Road invites eight artists to each make a short film connected to the mile-long north London street.

The gallery’s large window, on a busy corner in Essex Road, becomes a public screen for six weeks over Christmas and New Year. The films are back-projected into the window, shown on a loop from dusk to 11pm, highly visible to a broad-range of the general public who pass by the gallery.

Still of Brief Encounters on the Milky Way (2017), Xiaowen Zhu, HD video, 05:00

XIAOWEN ZHU is an artist, filmmaker and writer whose work communicates the complex experience of being a diasporic person. Her film Oriental Silks, (2015) explored the story of one shop, a silk emporium in Los Angeles, revealing the intricate relationship between people and objects in a migrant world.

Zhu’s film Brief Encounters on the Milky Way documents the encounters of an astronaut on Essex Road. Switching between walking down the street and standing behind a large shop-window, the astronaut appears to be a test of tolerance and openness towards something unusual, unfamiliar and unexpected. Passers-by, attracted and bemused by the bizarre sight, become participants in this brief encounter.


Essex Road is in the borough of Islington, London. It is roughly a mile long stretching from the Angel to Balls Pond Road. Essex Road runs parallel to its more upmarket neighbour Upper Street and in fact used to be called Lower Road. It has a remarkable number of independent shops and small businesses and a strong neighbourhood identity. It is an area with marked social and economic divisions.

For further information please contact Carla von der Becke at Albany Arts

87 Gower Street | London | WC1E 6AF


t: + 44 (0) 20 73 88 09 97

m: + 44 (0) 79 74 25 29 94

We are very grateful to Arts Council England and Islington’s Local Initiatives Fund for their support of this project.

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