Untitled: Chai

2017

Wood, amplifiers, media players, transducers, sound

Sound: In collaboration with Yingjia (Lemon) Guo

The sculpture simulates the shape of a Chinese character "拆" (chai - to dismantle), and is placed in the corner of the room with field recordings and projection. This character appears on buildings targeted by the Department of Demolition in China. The conjoint metal parts are engraved with the English word "China". "China" has a very similar pronunciation with the Chinese phrase "拆哪" (chai na - where to dismantle). Field recordings from the urban village are played through the transducers on the sculpture.

 

In 2013, Chinese president Xi promoted the Chinese Dream as a slogan in a high-profile visit to the National Museum of China. He said "young people should dare to dream, work assiduously to fulfill the dreams and contribute to the revitalization of the nation". In this case, with urban villages in Shenzhen as demolishing target, like the storm swept, there is going to be nothing left for lots of working class and young people who are going to lose their economical and convenient rental place. Many of them hold their dream life into the city through their affordable and cheap accommodations. Will the demolition wake up the 'Chinese dream'? 


Do You Know or Not

2017

Performance, transducers, live processed voices

In collaboration with Lemon Guo, performed in section 'Hubei 120', Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, Shenzhen, China

Lemon Guo (singing various versions of a Chinese folk song, "Do You Know Or Not".)

Mengtai Zhang (echoing with field recordings and live processed voice through transducers.)

 

'Do You Know or Not' appears as a metaphor and expression of Hubei (湖貝, an urban village in Shenzhen), but also emphasizes an essential problem: environment. The duo live performance utilizes the physical and acoustic structure of the labyrinth at the site, considering built environment and imaginary architectures as perceived in conjunction with sound, space, and the bodies, thus drawing attention to Hubei's unique geometric spatial structure, and the acoustics of the narrow alleys between the buildings. The rapid economic development of recent years has brought with it massive destruction of nature, such as sand storms, smog, water pollution, mudslide, and earthquakes. These problems, to a large extent, are caused by environmentally hazardous factors in the industrial production, and failed to raise enough awareness among the people to make a change. The erosion of nature has expanded into dimensions of civilization, culture, and history. The performance juxtaposes such "progress" embedded in the folk song and the modernization of Hubei.


Hubei

2016

Field recording

In collaboration with Huang Cheng

The field recordings focuses on how the seafood market in Hu Bei accommodates the entire Shenzhen. The 24/7 roaring oxygen pumps, interlacing pipes and tubes, and bubbling oxygen in water tanks, portray a high intensity emergency rescue center for the Anoxic city. 


Baishizhou Project

2016

A series of work made during the residency in Handshake 302

 

This project started during the residency in Baishizhou, one of a largest urban village in Shenzhen. I am working on not only field recording of environment, but also investigate the situation of urban village. The work including a sound sculpture, soundwalking and field recording. During the Handshake 302 residency, I completed two works and four salons, including the "Sound Search" tour of Baishizhou, as well as lecturing on "Aesthetic Justice" at the Shenzhen Art Museum. The two works challenge visual habits that how sound and voice shape the morphology of Baishizhou. These encounters allowed participants to reflect on and deconstruct the seemingly "reasonable" appearance of the neighborhood, following a different logic to understand where we are. 

 

 

The photo of Urban Village

2016-

Photo