Zane Mellupe is a Shanghai-based artist, curator and sinologist from Latvia (Riga 1981).
After doing her Theatre Direction studies in Shanghai Theatre Academy and completing her Bachelor Degree in Shanghai Teachers University (Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language & Literature, 2004), she pursued her education in the United Kingdom (Master of Arts in Photojournalism & Documentary Photography, University of the Arts, London 2007).
For the past two years she has been working along with Thomas Charvériat as the creative director of island6 arts Center. Additionally, she was appointed in 2009 as a director to the island6 Residency Program.
As an artist, Zane Mellupe conceives series, which independently alternate between and deconstruct preconceptions of documentary practice. The pertinence of her work, wrote art critic Rajath Suri, “reveals a dramatic and remarkable aesthetic at work: she denotes undercurrents and achieves coherence in a non-narrative body of work, which the majority of conceptual photographers would admire, if not envy.” She has caught the sense of dislocation, discordance and insurgence, which are the living truths of Asia in a torrent of commercialization, individualism and re-identification. Her work is an affirmation of the evolution of documentary work as being constituent with the human experience, and perhaps, one inseparable from the advent of a rampant atrophy of the senses.
Zane Mellupe considers herself a conceptual artist using photography. She states that the propaganda and dictatorship of the Soviet Union during her childhood led her to be skeptical about authority, which is reflected in her art. Her background in theater direction brought her to contemplate the relationship between photography and new media.
Her work has been seen at Red Gate Gallery in Beijing, island6 Arts Center in Shanghai as well as public institution such as the Latvian Museum of Photography and the Grand Palais in Paris. In February 2008, she was one of the artists chosen by Manaart and island6 to be represented during the first edition of Roma Contemporary Art Fair.