Andy Summers, acclaimed guitarist of The Police, the top rock band in the world during the 1980s, who gave us the haunting guitar riff in the song Every Breath You Take, now considers himself a “wanderer” with a Leica camera in hand. As he distances himself from his past glory and glamour, he seems to be drawn to roaming farther away from London, New York, and Los Angeles. Revisiting the Zen literature he discovered when he was younger, his predilection for traveling has taken him to Tokyo, Shanghai, Bali, and, as he says, “to the back alleys of Hanoi”, where photography becomes a way to extend his innovative musical creation and research, an essential path (the Dao) to explore his own growing old.
The Bones of Chuang Zhu the title of Summers’ current exhibition at Anne-Cecile Noique Art in Shanghai and an upcoming book, appears to be a reflection on the contrast between the musician’s present stage of existence and the remembrance of past turmoil. His title refers to an anecdote of Chinese thinker Zhuangzi of 4th Century BC, who came upon a skull on the road and debated with it the merit of being happily dead or of being alive with all the toils of the living world; the skull being the symbol of vanity and mortality, a universal theme in classic art. Yet it also implicitly expresses the photographer’s existential quest for freedom from the cycle of turmoil in his own life.
Anne-Cecile Noique Art
No. 423 Guangfu Rd Shanghai, China
November 07, 2017 to December 17, 2017