The Humors / Yuge Zhou, ONE Gallery

Ancient Greek philosophers wrote of four temperaments (or ‘humors’) that color all of creation: sanguine, choleric, melancholic and phlegmatic. Urbanity is part of this creation, and also embodies versions of these dispositions. The Humors suggests urban behaviors and relationships, those of people and of the built environment itself.

Green play (the first part) is a joyful orchestration of one of the great meeting places in New York City - Central Park, a utopian playground and repository shared by locals and tourists alike. The spliced footage choreographs a single summer Sunday and encapsulates an optimism that is central to American life.

Deep Ends (the second part) suggests a tension between carefree buoyancy, vulnerability, and inherent risk. Water on the edge of an urban landscape invites crowds, and shot from a long distance, the scene strangely oscillates between leisure fun and the aftermath of a disaster.

Soft Plots (the thirs part) portrays a conception of urban living that is both group-oriented and discontinuous, with underlying conflicts and competitions. In many ways, we live in big cities like we live in small towns—except that our communities are scattered across a dense network of other communities and other storied lives of which we only catch a glimpse. Soft Plots is a mental map of meaningful locations and (richly-inhabited) voids in between.

Pale Patrol (the fourth part) suggests an ambiguous scene: a frozen stage with potential conflict and no resolution, only symbolic events. Is this public display a lack of will, an ambivalence on both sides, political enactment, or détente? Pale Patrol is part of The Humors, a four-part video collage series exploring urban dispositions.