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FOREW First time I worked with Frank (Wang Ye-feng) was shooting his series of A Type of Carnival. In “The Task of Translators“ by Walter Benjamin. Violence is inflicted during the process of translation from one language to another. He used an alternative form of translating the violence that was misinterpreted of traditional Chinese elements. In a recent interview by X Zine, “he talks to himself” will tell you more about his thoughts on “Figure”, Post-80s, Digital body performance, etc. Watch the video interview on www.xzine.org/x/artists

Jihoon Yoo is a visual/3D artist from Korea. “He creates the image of virtual performance happening in the virtual theater using 3D software”. In both Korean and English, Hanna Yoo had a thorough review on him. I use“Adaptation” as the theme of this issue. These post-80s Asian artists both use digital/3D technology to make body performance. They raise paradox questions for viewers to participate in the interaction of their work and “suggest to rethink a simplistic understanding that the technological advancement directly causes the loss of humanity in modern society.” (Hanna Yoo)

Xie Jiankun 2012/06/30 @ Boston


WORDS 我第一次跟王页丰 (Frank Wang Ye-Feng) 合作是在芝加哥艺术学院摄影系的摄影 棚里面拍摄他的“猪头”系列(一种类型的狂欢)照片。其实,这是一个带着鹿角的龙 的头骨的造型。他一共换了16套不同的男女服饰,依照意大利文艺复兴时期绘画 里面的人物造型,摆设出不同的动作。在王页丰平面影像作品中,他把龙头进化 成了猪头。在他的数码作品里,他直接让头骨生长在了各个赤裸的身体上。 Jihoon Yoo 是个很谦虚的韩国帅哥。他通过互联网把跨国地域的地图与影像即时 渲染到他设计的人体模型上。他还通过数码手段建造他所需要的“表演舞台”。 这两位生于80后的亚洲艺术家,在同时运用高端数码(身体)行为艺术的方式来 与观众进行互动,让观者可以体验到虚拟环境下才可以实现的扭曲与变形。两位 艺术家的作品在首尔,亚特兰大或是纽约的街头都曾用大屏幕投影在城市的建筑 外墙上与公众互动。在达尔文之前,法国生物学家拉马克学(J. B. Lamarck)说提 到,“在自然界的生物中存在着由简单到复杂的一系列等级(阶梯),生物本身存 在着一种内在的“意志力量”驱动着生物由低的等级向较高的等级发展变化。”在现 时互现网发达的当代,地域差别与时间轴都在轻而易举地被压缩。人类所看到的 所谓现实,通过无差别的全球化进程,精神与意志层面在极速地适应并进化着。 本期的X Zine的访谈,我用视频记录的方式,让王页丰自己跟自己对话。观看请 访问www.xzine.org/x/artists

谢建鲲


| The X Zine Publication + Organization The X ZINE (Non-Profit, founded 2010) was created to serve as a platform to introduce young/emerging artists, whose specialized areas are not limited to contemporary photography, and to create a community of visual art therefrom for ongoing dialogues. With a hope of opening up conversations at the international level, the Zine is in multiple languages. For more information about ordering fine quality print version of this zine, giving feedback, contributing or making donation, please visit XZINE.ORG/X


Wang Ye-Feng Jihoon Yoo Ross Jordan

special thanks to

Hanna Yoo Rashed Islam Shishir Vicky Wei-Husan Yen Karen Lin

COVER

Photography Series, 2012 by Frank Wang Ye-Feng

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Hanna Yoo These days we accept technology with the greatest comfort than ever, whereas there is also a growing fear for technology supplanting the place for human being. Calling to complicate such a binary understanding of our relation to technology, the idea of technology seems deeply embedded in (post)modern definition of humanity. This question resonates with the way the digital media artist Jihoon Yoo addresses his presence in the society. The artist invites the audience to his virtual performance where the two meta-realities, the idea of stage performance and that of the virtual, come together. He

JIHOON YOO / creates the image of virtual performance happening in the virtual

theater using 3D software. Yoo’s skilled manipulation of 3D graph-

ics allows him to perform a full range of virtual roles involved in the performance from choreographer, operator, performer to lighting, costume, and stage designer. To Yoo, these virtual roles, paradoxically, serve to assure his place in real world. In Yoo’s darkened virtual theater, the metallic bodies are on performance that seems to exist between dance and circus. Unlike the stunning spectacle the circus performance creates, however, the whole production designed by Yoo encourages the viewer to focus on a sense of isolation underlying the performance. The performers appear to drift away in the air rather than displaying a set of disciplined movements.


/ REHEARSAL


The performers’ metallic bodies, recalling the image of the

reflection is, while it is representative of whatever is in front

cyborg, represent visual cliché associated with the tech-

of it, essentially an ephemeral image that is never in con-

nological utopianism. Perhaps resulted from external or

tact with the surface. Likewise, Yoo’s primary question aris-

internal injuries, several parts of their bodies, including

es from his own experience that his masterful handling of

breast, wrist, and feet, are distorted and disfigured. Such a

3D graphic software, which constitutes a crucial part of this

vulnerability of the seemingly sturdy shell of their bodies

young artist as a member of technology generation, ironi-

expresses the emotional reality that Yoo thinks he lives in.

cally prevents him from getting something more profound

The reflective nature of the metallic surface functions as a good metaphor for the artist using 3D graphic language. The

out of the very technology. The performers therefore may be called the artist’s avatar in that the materiality of their bodies simultaneously connect them to and disconnects


them from the world. The dual quality of the reflective metal underscored in Yoo’s work suggests to rethink a simplistic understanding that the technological advancement directly causes the loss of humanity in modern society. It is in fact us who have volunteered to have our lives benefit from technology, despite our awareness of its destructive possibility entailed; it is also us who has developed the technology to express its

dual nature. In this sense, the feeling of alienation might be the most transparent manifestation of the essence of modern life, rather than solely result from the presence of technology. Perhaps the impersonal way we interact with the technology reflects the impersonal way we interact with others.


유한나

의 존재감을 확인한다는 작가 유지훈의 이야기는 이러한 맥락

흔히들 이야기하는 것처럼 기계문명이 발전할수록 인간성은 퇴

들고, 그 내부에서 일어나는 버츄얼 퍼포먼스를 디지털 미디어

색해 갈 수 밖에 없는 것일까? 우리는 어느 때보다도 테크놀로

로 기록한다. 컴퓨터로의 표현이 자유로운 작가는 그의 퍼포먼

지를 편안하게 받아들이는 한편, 빠른 속도로 인간의 역할을 대

스에서 안무, 조명, 의상, 무대디자이너, 디렉터의 역할을소화하

체하고 있는 것처럼 보이는 기계에 대한 두려움 또한 가지고 있

면서 공연중에는 퍼포머, 오퍼레이터가 된다. 유지훈은 가상 환

다. 다시 말해 테크놀로지는 단순히 우리에게 긍정적인 혹은 부

경(VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT)에서수행하는 이러한 역할이 현

정적인 영향을 끼치는 외적인 요인임을 넘어서서 현대 사회에

실에서 그의 존재감을 재확인 시켜주는매개체라고 이야기한다. 

새옵게 정의되고 있는 인간성의 일부로 자리잡은 듯 하다.

공연예술과 가상공간이 공통적으로 현실을 재현하려는 시도에

디지털 미디어를 통해 그가 느끼는 소외감을 표현히며 스스로

에 위치한다. 작가는 3D 소프트웨어를사용해 극장이미지를 만

서 출발한 개념임을 고려할 때, 유지훈은 이 두 가지 메타현실이 만나는 가상공연에 관객들을 초대한 셈이다. 


적막한 가상 극장 내부, 퍼포머들은 서커스를 연상시키는 고난

마치 쿠킹호일처럼 내구성이 형편없다. 가슴, 손목, 발 등 신체

이도의 공연을 선보인다. 그러나 서커스의 화려한 기교가 선사

곳곳이 미완성된 것처럼속절없이 찌그러져있는 것이다. 작가의

하는 놀라움과 비교하기에, 이들의 부유하는 듯한 몸짓은 어딘

말에 따르면, 이러한 신체성은 그가 현실에서 느끼는 인간 본연

가 고독해 보인다. 카메라를 외면하는 시선처리는 공허함의 느

의 불완전하고 모순된 감정의 반영이다.

낌을 더한다. 대부분의 관객들은  대중매체에서 메탈릭한 바디 로 대표되는 사이보그의 이미지에 익숙할 것이다. 마찬가지로 인위적인 광택을 자랑하는  퍼포머들의 신체 표면은 테크놀로 지와 공존하는 미래에 대한 낙관주의적 믿음을 상징하는 클리 셰이다. 그러나 가까이 살펴보면,  그들의 아름다운 은빛 표면은

메탈릭한 표면은 마주하는 모든 것을 거울처럼 반영한다. 그러 나 순간적으로 맺힌 이미지는 매끈한 표면 위에서 겉돌다 미끄 러지듯 사라질 뿐이다. 마찬가지로 테크놀로지 세대 유지훈은 능숙한 솜씨로 그가 경험하는 현실을 재구성하지만, 그의 정체


성의 일부인 그래픽 소프트웨어를 사용하는 과정 자체에서 오

서 기계문명에 대한 단편적인 이해에 질문을 던진다. 테크놀로

히려 스스로가 더욱 소외되는 모순적인 경험을 한다고 이야기

지를 비판하면서도 크고 작은 기기들로 생활을 채워온 것도, 그

한다. 화려한 외양에 모든 이미지를 반사하면서도 실은 어느 것

리고 테크놀로지를 통해 그러한 우리의 모습을 되짚어 보는 것

도 흡수하지 못하는 퍼포머들은 그래서 작가의 아바타처럼 보

도 모두 의도적인 선택임을 생각할 때, 고립이라는 현대인의 감

인다. 

정은 테크놀로지 자체가 가져왔다기 보다 그것을 이해하고 다

기계문명에 대한 지배적인 인식은 테크놀로지 자체가 현대인의 고립된 삶의 집적적인 원인이라는 것이다. 유지훈의 작품에 사 용된 메탈릭한 표면의 물질성은 퍼포머의 신체를 구성하면서 도 그를 외부와 단절시키는 이중적인 관계를 표현한다는 점에

루는 과정에서 드러나는 우리의 솔직한 자화상일지 모른다. 우 리의 빈곤한 마음이 테크놀로지를 빈곤한 방식으로 사용케 하 고 그 결과로 우리를 한 번 더 소외되게 만든다면 인간 소외라는 오랜 주제는 해결되어야 할 문제거리라기 보다 기계 시대의 삶 이 갖는 본성이 아닐까?


The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

degree in Art and Technology Studies department at

own performance. I decided to pursue to a master

performance, I kept feeing that I wanted to make my

technical art director. While I was making a media

media performance company for three years as a

practical methods and issues. So, I worked for a

The university focused on new media theory, not

studying Media Arts in M.F.A. degree.

the language of digital image seriously. So, I started

While I was working in the studio, I wanted to know

a professional photography studio for two years.

Korea. After graduating a University, I worked for

graduate, I majored in environmental sculpture in

virtual theater that I created. When I was an under-

Jihoon Yoo: I am making virtual performance art in

TELL US ABOUT YOU

ADAPTATION


alienation.

express this. The process of expression deepens the

technological alienation and yet I use technology to

being disconnected from myself. I am the product of

ness, a sense of isolation and fear, which comes from

alienation. I feel emptiness, strangeness, ambiguous-

process of making art which itself expresses human

ings, even myself become unfamiliar to me due to the

reverses itself, so that my surroundings, my belong-

my own humanity. At the same time, this very process

helps me to focus more on myself and on maintaining

through digital. Using digital media in this atypical way

Jihoon Yoo: “Rehearsal” series comes from my emotion

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR SERIES “REHEARSAL ”?


me feel more part of the American culture.

search books, find restaurants and buy clothes makes

networking website. I am using digital technology to

a smart phone with application for navigation and social

commutate with other people and spending time using

I relied on digital technology in many ways, in order to

trying to express my thoughts and emotions exactly.

is my second language, I made lots of mistake when I

first time, I started thinking about my existence. English

Jihoon Yoo: When I come to the United States for the

WHAT ARE THE REFERENCES OR INSPIRATION OF YOUR DIGITAL WORK?


fully be able to communicate with the world.

making a virtual performance in digital media, I could

American culture, which seems to exclude me. Through

of the methods I use to ensure my existence in an

Imagining and making a virtual performance is one

might feel if confronted with these certain emotions.

perience and also to express the pain that a real human

to embody the qualities of digital culture and virtual ex-

digital bodies in this series are meant to do two things:

Also, I can express my emotion with a digital body. The

ing a story and scene.

allows me to get over a feeling of alienation while creat-

Being placed in these positions through digital media

tor, choreographer, stage designer or lighting operator.

experiences. In the virtual performance, I can be a direc-

Jihoon Yoo: My work is strongly related to all of my

HOW DO YOU SEE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOU AND THE 3D/VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE?


make a whole new virtual performance.

all of the scenes from “Rehearsal” and “Adaptation” to

Jihoon Yoo: I am planning to compose and combine

WHAT WILL YOUR NEXT PROJECT BE?

different cultures simultaneously.

which is about how human beings adapt and live in two

mances. For example, my latest work is “Adaptation”

Jihoon Yoo: I keep developing stories for virtual perfor-

WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO BESIDES 3D/VIRTUAL/MEDIA PERFORMANCE?


WANG YE-FENG /


/


FRANK I MET

ON A COLD RAINING SATUR FOR LUNCH


Message from rossjordanart@gmail.com: Here is the piece. Let me know if there are any changes that

Frank told me he was taught at a young age, like all school

you think should be made.Sorry it took me so long to finish.

children, how to be a patriotic Chinese citizen of the Commu-

K/

RDAY

nist Party. He would go on to help design public statues for

Best.

the Chinese Government. One particular statue was of the cel-

Ross Jordan

ebrated Chinese General Dehuai Peng who led an army on the Long March, a year long strategic retreat from anti-Communist forces in China. Only one tenth of the soldiers who started the

The rise of China on the global stage has received a great deal of attention from media and governments around the world. However, within the changing global landscape China is not without its own interior tensions and struggles. Wang Ye-Feng’s

(Frank) newest interactive video installation, Well-disciplined Kids (2012), is an allegory of power, history, and propaganda in the contemporary moment. Utilizing virtual technologies

March survived, but the myth and history of the period boosted Mao and his communist party into power. After questioning Mao’s leadership Dehuai Peng was stripped of his position and, for several years, was made an example though publicly humiliating confessions and prison torcher. A year after Mao’s death his reputation was posthumously rehabilitated at the end of the Cultural Revolution by sympathetic allies inside the Communist Party.

usually found in the video gaming industry Frank has created a parade of military power, patriotic indoctrination, and historic iconography of Chinese contemporary society. The result is a

A student of history and a collector of ancient Chinese arti-

surreal environment of menacing figures and empty symbols

facts, Frank is hyper aware of how historical figures are ma-

of power.

nipulated over time and how power is derived from those figures. He finds these images of so-called heroic figures empty and riddled with contradictions that are hard to reconcile with

I met Frank on a cold raining Saturday for lunch. He picked me up and we drove down to Chinatown for some warm food. Spending time with Frank is always a broad existential experi-

contemporary culture. “There is no content,” Frank told me. It is within this emptiness his newest video installation finds its meaning. In Frank’s words, “No content is content.”

ence. Our conversation weaved in and out of public concerns like politics and the global economy to the private difficulties of continuing to make artwork outside of art school while trying

Well-disciplined Kids is a tryptic that responds to viewers

to pay bills and rent. Whatever the difficulties, since graduat-

movements as they walk in front of the projection. Large ba-

ing with an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

bies in the background stare and reach out at the viewer across

in 2011 Frank has been busy with exhibitions at the Hyde Park

all three frames. On the left and right, smaller babies in the

Art Center and the Gene Siskel Film Center. This June he will

foreground crawl and climb on China’s newest jet-fighter and

take his artwork outside of ChicagoLand to the Santa Fe Inter-

hang off the nozzle of a tank. This mash up of killing machines

national New Media Festival where he will be a featured artist.

and expressionless babies is a schematic of the game-like

A transplant from China, Frank’s artistic practice has developed

arms race between global powers and the early indoctrination

in interesting ways while he has been in the States; richly lay-

of children into a Chinese society that is sometimes regulated

ered, critical, and pleasantly disturbing.

by the disappearing of detractors. For the center frame of the tryptic Frank had tapped into China’s historical use of animals


as symbols to convey power. He has created his own heroic

surreal world, but an essential element of it. In the end the

figure. A nude woman, babies strewn about, with a head that

military parade is undermined, as some of the well-disciplined

is an amalgamation of deer antlers and a pig’s snout. She is

babies seem to be playing “fornication” on the tank. Like any

rendered in the same monochromatic grey as the war ma-

great nation, adults show-and-tell their new war toys like chil-

chines making her a prop similar to the military jet and tank.

dren while babies, properly indoctrinated, try to play adult

This figure, flanked by symbols of military might, is a menac-

games.

ing mother of well-disciplined children.

Frank’s images land in an area of extreme juxtapositions reAs a viewer walks in front of the images the figures respond

vealing the weakness and weirdness of nationally inherited

with jerky, rapid movements, and stare out at the viewer. The

images that no longer hold much credence for younger gen-

exchange of gazes and movements implicates viewers in a

erations. He likens it to the feeling of “wanting to lift the world,

feedback loop. We are the audience of a military parade, an

but you have no leverage.” This empty void is where Frank’s

integral part of the propaganda. We are not removed from this

surreal world-scapes, mirroring our reality, thrives.


A Type of Carnival MEDIA: digitally manipulated photography, archival inkjet print | YEAR: 2009


FRANK / interview Watch Frank Wang Ye-Feng’s interview on www.xzine.org/x/artists “Frank talks to Frank” is an interview conducted by X Zine. In this interview, he talks about the “Figure” in his work, post-80’s generation between China and USA, technology he used in his work, digital body performance, etc.


DIGITAL NON FICTION by Rashed Islam Shishir.

People choose control over happiness. Yet, when you are happy... Control never becomes an issue. So see through the clutter, listen to the inner eye. It misses nothing.

If humanity is generosity then humility is responsibility. You cannot have one without the other like the vessels of the pulmonary. Being humble causes no humidity.

You cannot have a high base and a sharp pitch at once. Our circuits are in binary with the shift in endocrines. Rhythm reflects or refracts as a prism.

In love we fall like in God we trust. It is all bust when the pulmonary rust reads lust, lust leads to rust. Read the breed through the cast.

It is the mind that matters, So, it brews. ‘ Yet, it is the heart that bleeds. When you are the guarded guide .... Never stroll like a tourist

}


}


Beijing


Chicago


Manhattan


Kandahar


Web Idol, Play it here: http://wangyefeng.com/project_2011_3/project_webidol.html MEDIA: interactive video installation, virtual reality, xbox game controller | SOFTWARE: Unity 3D, AutoDesk MAYA | YEAR: 2010


Web Idol, Play it here: http://wangyefeng.com/project_2011_3/project_webidol.html MEDIA: interactive video installation, virtual reality, xbox game controller | SOFTWARE: Unity 3D, AutoDesk MAYA | YEAR: 2010


Web Idol, Play it here: http://wangyefeng.com/project_2011_3/project_webidol.html MEDIA: interactive video installation, virtual reality, xbox game controller | SOFTWARE: Unity 3D, AutoDesk MAYA | YEAR: 2010


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