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If Every Day Were a Holiday, Towns Would Be More Mysterious examines time as a referential quantity for understanding our world. Already in its title, the publication formulates a hypothetical scenario that deals with the division of time and the associated effects on localities. Time as a division into units, into working hours and leisure days, for example, but also time as a lived experience. Especially in view of the pandemic, we have been moving in a perpetual state between passivity and action. It is this ambivalent space in between that interests Jiajia Zhang: ‟Between going outside and retreating into one’s own home, between entering as a guest and being rejected as a potential virus carrier, between freshening up and crumpling, between opening and rejection”.


The creation, division, management, manipulation, and diversity of time appear in various forms in Jiajia Zhang’s works. She documents supposedly everyday things at her place of residence as well as on trips to China, her country of origin, the USA, where she studied, and various (European) cities with the photo and film camera, thus reflecting on architectural, social and economic structures of our urban reality. Like a montage process, Jiajia Zhang relates images of the most diverse origins to one another.


The artist’s book was created on the occasion of Jiajia Zhang’s eponymous solo exhibition (April 23 – July 10, 2021) at Coalmine in Winterthur. It’s an extension and continuation of the research for the exhibition and contains photographs, text images and excerpts from video works by the artist. This material is supplemented by text contributions by the critic and author Quinn Latimer, the collective Shanzhai Lyric, and the curator Annette Amberg in conversation with Jiajia Zhang.


Published with the kind support of Volkart Stiftung, Kanton St.Gallen and Stadt St.Gallen.


Jiajia Zhang


Jiajia Zhang

Annette Amberg


Quinn Latimer

Shanzhai Lyric


Samuel Bänziger

Rosario Florio

Larissa Kasper


230 × 310 mm

128 pages



CHF 32.00