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Artist Feature

Every week an artist is featured whose single image was published by Der Greif. The Feature shows the image in the original context of the series.

Zhankun Dai - Vapor Trail

Oct 09, 2019

In this project, I tried to blur the boundary between our daily life and warfare.

 

Vapor Trail can not be seen everywhere in China, because of the air pollution, so I always thought that the contrails were created by warplanes and even missiles. When I first arrived in London, I was surprised by there were so many warplanes on the sky, I felt safe, but at the same time I felt that war is so close to me.

 

How to distinguish the contrails of airplanes and the contrails of missiles? How to tell the difference between the cloud on the sky and the smoke after the bomb? Actually the ruins after the demolition look the same as the ruins after the war.

 

The war is unstoppable, are you safe?


Artist Blog

The blog of Der Greif is written entirely by the artists who have been invited to doing an Artist-Feature. Every week, we have a different author.

Blow Up

Oct 15, 2019 - Zhankun Dai

“Blow up” is part of my project “Frontier”. I magnified the crack with an electron microscope and put it in the monitor. I tried to find out what’s on earth in this crack? A crack is just like a frontier, dividing reality and fantasy. During the process of magnification, the frontier was also materialized.


How to make rebar ball

Oct 14, 2019 - Zhankun Dai

This is also part of my MA show.

 

In the evolution of society, cities are also evolving along with them. Demolishing shabby houses and turning rural areas into cities. When I was wandering around the ruins in the city last year, I found that all the excavators were doing the same thing, making rebar balls, they separated the rebar from the cement, then squeezed them into a ball and piled it up into a hill, finally took away to recycle. I realized that the rebar ball is actually a by-product of urban evolution. More and more places will be transformed into cities by making more rebar balls. Like the categorization of society, this process is unstoppable. But how to distinguish between rural areas and cities? Is it because a piece of land is classified under the rural label, then it will be removed? The rebar ball is actually a symbol of categorization power.

 


Frontier

Oct 11, 2019 - Zhankun Dai

By an accident, my cellphone screen was shattered. It was not completely shattered. It just left a dark line on the screen that was expanding over time, and was once has the momentum to capture my entire screen. The images on the phone seem to be more real, the reality and the visions started converging from inside out and attempting to encroach on my horizon. I gradually began to feel those non-daily existence in my life, rather than feel, I was deliberately looking for them.

 

I began to look forward to the weirdness of this world. Suddenly I understood why there were so many conspiracy theories in the world. We were longing for daily chaos and looking forward to proving that it was dangerous beneath this peaceful looking world. That black line may not just a small screen crack, but a clue of this real crazy world that began to collapse from a calm mask.


Scientific Classification

Oct 10, 2019 - Zhankun Dai

These are from my MA show in Chelsea College of Arts.

 

This project originated from a video on Youtube that sharing their DNA test results. They held the DNA report on their hands as if they were reading their own destiny. I was very curious about how powerful the DNA test is, but after a period of research, I found that I have gradually lost interest in the DNA test itself, and instead started to study taxonomy, because I think the purpose of the DNA test is actually to help the society to classify people most efficiently, both from a health perspective and from a blood perspective.

 

Marcel Mauss and Émile Durkheim pointed out in the < Primitive Classification> that the ability to classify is not intrinsic to human beings, but is accompanied by changes in society. In the classification of primitive society, the way in which things are classified depends on emotions. In contemporary society, technology and other means are used to make the categorization look more rational. Therefore, the process of categorization change is also the evolution process of human society. But who has the power to set the standard for this categorization?

 

In this work, I tried to simulate the categorization process of human beings in the current society through two machines. As time goes by, the balls in the machine become more and more chaotic. And you will never know what is the standard of the categorization, and you are not sure which category you will eventually be assigned to. This process will continue and will not stop. If people default or obey this categorization system, they will be gaze and control; and if they escape or resist the system, they will have nowhere to hide, just like the balls fallen on the ground.