There's jeopardy in Paradise Row at present, where Shanghai duo Ji Weiyu and Song Tao's odd monochrome photographs may soon witness an injury induced by tripping over a twelfth-century poem laid out in the middle of the floor. Xin Qiji's lovely verse is called 'Youth Does Not Know How Sorrow Tastes' and the large-format images of wild-haired youngsters moshing at a gig seem to bear this out.
There's banality here, but no sorrow: that is left to the viewer faced with 112 smaller images, jammed together and almost violently boring. A smooth-skinned girl is offered a flower; a pocked youth inhales his cigarette. Two men – drunk? – touch lips, while a couple hold hands, their heads cut off by inept camerawork. Is this a metaphor for love, where we lose our heads, or simply a celebration of the transitory? Or have I just been looking at too many snaps of gormless groups smiling at the photographer?
Birdhead may be young but they aren't foolish: the title image of 'Welcome to Birdhead World Again' is an intriguing collage of photos pinned atop one another; a grinning youth effacing a still life of dead flowers and a gun, a woman's face covered by the post-it on her forehead as if mocking the obliteration each image inflicts on the one behind it, and the whole graffiti-ed with calligraphy. This collation seems to indicate that 'youth' knows a few things 'maturity' has forgotten to think about; I just wish there were more here like it.