Good Boy, Bad Boy, 2016
Perspex and recycled engine oil (set of 2)
240 × 120 × 7.5 cm, 250 kg (each)
Coming from a family with an oil supply business that goes back more than 50 years, Chou has been working on his ‘Petroleum Painting’ series over the last decade. It formalises the relationship between himself, his family and the materiality of petroleum, and also considers the relationship of petroleum to the age in which we live – where petroleum is key to industrialisation and propels our modern world, but has also led to numerous wars and environmental ruin. Chou’s frame-like plexiglass containers hold heavy, dark petroleum and can also be seen as a time capsule, as the creation of petroleum in nature takes at least two million years. Moreover, the ‘painting’ stays in a liquid form and keeps flowing; it will never solidify as an oil painting does. Like a strange mirror, Chou’s work reproduces the space it is in, yet distorts surrounding movements, giving viewers an opportunity for curious self-reflection.