A Story of a Merchant
October 28, 2023 – December 16, 2023
kurimanzutto, Mexico City, Mexico

Installation view of A Story of a Merchant, kurimanzutto, Mexico City, Mexico
Photo: Gerardo Landa / Eduardo López (GLR Estudio)

Press Release

kurimanzutto is proud to present A Story of a Merchant, a research-based speculative exhibition that intertwines personal narratives, travelogs, historical artifacts, newly commissioned artworks, fictional characters, and architectural interventions curated by X Zhu-Nowell and Chao Jiaxing.

Taking inspiration from a conference held in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2022, co-organized by X Zhu-Nowell and the artist and writer Kandis Williams, this exhibition continues the quest to establish a shared language that challenges preconceived notions when exploring what Lisa Lowe refers to as “the intimacy of four continents.” By examining the intertwined histories of indenture and colonial violence in Asia, the Caribbean, and the Americas through the life trajectories of Chinese merchants, the exhibition illuminates the shared experiences of the Chinese diaspora across various regions. The exhibition sheds light on these diverse landscapes, from the historic Tepito market in Mexico City and Chinatown in San Francisco to Barry Street in Kingston and Yiwu in China. Using the fictional character of the Chinese merchant, “SHUI Ma,” as a heuristic tool, the exhibition charts a new cartography of complex geographies, exploring realms of fantasy, memory, conspiracy, and recollection.

The exhibition brings together works by Bhenji Ra, BirdHead group, BOLOHO collective, Candice Lin, CHEN Zhen, Damián Ortega, DING Yi, Dr. Lakra, Gabriel Orozco, Haegue Yang, HAO Liang, HU Yinping, Kandis Williams, Miguel Covarrubias, Minerva Cuevas, PENG Zuqiang, Richard Fung, “SAN Yu”, TAN Jing, YANG Fudong, and YAO Qingmei.


Download exhibition booklet


Exhibited works

Knotty Spell in Windy Weeping Forsythia, 2016

Non-Indépliable, nue – Strive and Stake Yellow, 2018