Chinese media artist Yang Zhenzhong produced masks reproducing 50 employees with the help of 3D scanning and printing technology. Later he made a multi-channel recording when they perform their normal daily work wearing the mask bearing their own expression. These facial replicas look more dramatic than the wears’ hidden, true emotions. Perhaps for this reason, their mechanical movement, which moves according to the requirements of the assembly line, looks like unfolding slowly like a liberated dance. Even the atmosphere of the factory which manufactures just ordinary products becomes more and more mysterious. Yang Zhenzhong who was born in Hang Zhou, China, and works in and around Shanghai has participated in many international exhibitions such as Venice Biennale and Shanghai Biennale, and his works are collected by Museum of Modern Art (NY), Ikon Gallery (UK), and Fukuoka Art Museum (Japan).
Image rights: Installation view at Nam June Paik Art Center
About Yang Zhenzhong
Yang Zhenzhong believes “life itself is in a state of constant repetition” and, accordingly, repetition is a defining theme of his practice. For I Will Die (2007), Yang enlisted ordinary people to pronounce the titular phrase on camera in different languages, playing the loops in simultaneous video projections. The work exemplifies the air of bold straightforwardness for which Yang is known across his work in photography, video, performance, sculpture, and installation. Whether stripping massage chairs of their upholstery, appropriating works by other famous artists, planting a fake bus stop in a historic town, or installing synchronized videos of a woman huffing and puffing to blow away a Shanghai street, Yang relies on everyday objects and familiar scenes to express profound ideas. “I feel that if you deal with individual experience on a certain level it becomes universal experience,” he explains.
Chinese, b. 1968, Xiaoshan, China, based in Shanghai, China